Fifth Graders Create Sculptures in Motion

Bronxville Elementary School fifth graders created their own 3D sculptures as part of a unit on pop art in Kendall Fousek’s art classes. Equipped with foil, tape, wood, paint and their creativity, the students were challenged to build colorful figures in motion. 


“Each sculptural figure was unique,” Fousek said. “The students were invested in their creative process, focused on their work and shared their discoveries. As I watched them work through the various challenges and steps, I saw them take pride in their own work and that of each other.” 


Throughout their studies, the students discussed how artists are influenced by history, culture and innovation. They examined the works of Andy Warhol, as well as Keith Haring, whose brightly colored energetic imagery was the springboard for the sculpture project. 


“Looking at [Haring’s] work, the students observed that they were colorful, upbeat, positive and expressed movement,” Fousek said. “They noticed that his figures were not representative of any one person but were universal. In art, we often discuss the elements of art and how the artist incorporates these into their work. Our sculpture study provided a hands-on understanding of form. We discussed the principle of movement and ways we could manipulate the materials to demonstrate unique movements.” 


Working on the sculpture project provided the young artists with the opportunity to create 3D artwork. They first molded aluminum foil to create an armature for their figure, then continued to build their form with foil before layering it with tape, which strengthened the form and provided a smooth surface on which to paint. They sanded wood to create a base for their sculptures and completed their projects by painting the figures in bright colors. 


“The students gained a greater understanding of sculptural form, and the relationship of art and culture,” Fousek said. “They also gained further understanding that while artmaking can be and is an individual experience, artmaking can also be collaborative in nature. Collaboration occurs literally and in the way that artists often create within a community of others, sharing ideas and expertise.”