School of Art, A.E. Phillips collaborate for art project

Feb 2, 2012 | General News, Liberal Arts

They may just be across the street, but they are decades away.
A chain-link fence on the edge of A.E. Phillips Laboratory School separates it from Louisiana Tech’s School of Art, but that fence will also bring them together.

A rendering of the art project shows vines and leaves reaching out from A.E. Phillips to the School of Art.

Thanks to a collaborative effort between Jes Schrom, an assistant professor of photography, and Maggie Boudreaux, an A.E.P. teacher, junior high students from A.E.P. and Tech students are working together to create a community art piece.
“We’re different people with different viewpoints who are coming together to create this,” Schrom said. “We’ve learned teamwork very well, working together and separate.”
Room 219 in the F. Jay Taylor Visual Arts Center is filled with an assortment of materials that will create a community theme art piece at A.E.P., including wire, twine, tape and plastic bags.
“We wanted to incorporate recycling into this project,” said Diana Synatzske, a 3-D studio graduate student who came up with the theme of having vines and leaves as part of the project. “There’s been a lot of work developing this idea.”
The A.E.P. students, Synatzske said, also had a lot of input on the project.
“We followed the goals of the project, and the A.E. Phillips students came up with their own ideas,” Synatzske said. “A lot of them had ideas of growth, which is why we have the vines and leaves to (indicate) growth. We hope it will be visually pleasing and that the average viewer will get the concept just by seeing it.”
Synatzske added that the students are working on the leaves for the project, and after the leaves are finished, the A.E.P. students and the Tech students will write what they want to be when they grow up on the leaves.
Boudreaux said she hoped her students gained a better understanding of the people around them and to be exposed to the business of being a professional artist, from writing the proposal, completing sketches, measuring, estimating supplies and installing the work.
“The second Jes Schrom approached me about doing a public art collaboration with her students, I knew this was an invaluable experience for my students,” Boudreaux said. “Public art is something most young art students have little exposure to in their curriculum. This project has provided them with a broader knowledge of art and its purposes.”
Boudreaux added that the students were anticipating what they have dubbed as their “tree of dreams.”
“This project goes way beyond just creating a work of art,” she said. “They have had the opportunity to apply their language, literacy, mathematical and even cooperative skills. The idea of being able to give a work of art to a community is an exciting one. This has been a huge motivator for them.”
Schrom said she hopes that the project will be set up around the middle of February.  The project, including the vines and leaves, will be centered on the A.E. Phillips’ fence facing the School of Art, bringing junior high students and college students together in a collaborative effort.
“Hopefully, the community will see what we’re doing here and be supportive,” Schrom said. “Art can connect communities, even across the street. We hope to do more projects like this. We want to find more collaborative projects throughout Ruston.”