Mountain Ridge students pay tribute to Chihuly exhibit
HIGHLANDS RANCH – You might have noticed some unusual sculptures if you have driven past Mountain Ridge Middle School (MRMS) recently.
Students in Sally Losness’ art class recently studied the work of glass artist Dale Chihuly, and were inspired by his outdoor glass sculptures, which were recently on display at the Denver Botanic Gardens. As a result, 200 sculptures have been created and “planted” outside on school grounds.
Since middle school is not the best environment for glassblowing, the students created 3D pieces using recycled materials, including cardboard, wire and duct tape. The students then layered plaster bandages over each of the structures, and painted them with acrylic color, using spray paint for the highlight details. The finishing touch was added in the form of triple clear gloss layers, applied to protect the art from the elements while displayed outdoors.
“The silhouettes of the pieces in the morning are stunning as are the bright bold colors and shapes in the sunshine later in the day, and at night they can be downright creepy,” Losness said.
While creating the striking sculptures, the young artists studied organic shapes from nature, as well as Chilhuly glass pieces. In addition to exploring the design concepts related to an exhibit of this magnitude, students learned life skills as they navigated the process of planning, engineering, building and creating each piece.