Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 4:29 pm | A Few Clouds 66º

 
 
 

Garden Street Academy Sculpture Class Learns to Think Big and Bold with ‘Entropy’

Teacher Patrick Faulk encourages students to push themselves, follow through with larger-than-life projects

Garden Street Academy’s sculpture class students — and teacher Patrick Faulk — strike a pose in front of their collective creation, “Entropy.” The 14-foot tall structure is made of 108 equilateral triangles. The materials used include cardboard, Tyvek tape, polyurethane, wood glue, liquid nails and exterior paint.
Garden Street Academy’s sculpture class students — and teacher Patrick Faulk — strike a pose in front of their collective creation, “Entropy.” The 14-foot tall structure is made of 108 equilateral triangles. The materials used include cardboard, Tyvek tape, polyurethane, wood glue, liquid nails and exterior paint. (Frankie Victoria / Noozhawk photo)

“Ridiculous” seems to be the word to describe the giant, neon green sculpture that is displayed in the middle of the cubicles at Garden Street Academy. The 14-foot structure — made up of 108 equilateral triangles — was designed and constructed by the 12 students in Patrick Faulk’s sculpture class.

Twelfth-grader Connor Lavelle, one of the students who took the lead with the project, describes the tedious process of trial and error, even showing Noozhawk some of the broken-down cardboard prototypes for “Entropy.”

“We made a lot of smaller models at first,” he said. “If one triangle was off, then the whole piece wouldn’t work. So everything needed to be cut precisely.”

Once the idea was in the works, most class periods were spent cutting triangles and testing materials. The process took about six months. Faulk thought that the project took longer than expected.

“I thought, ‘Hey, we’ll be done by September! It will only take a month!’” he said with a laugh. “There were times where we were just yelling at each other for class periods.

“But I think it’s been a good process. It was a bit ridiculous and I kind of think we spent too much time on it. But you need to spend time to make something big like this.”

At Garden Street Academy, this type of “larger-than-life” thinking seems to have a big impact on its students. In Faulk’s art class, students recently were working on their personal projects, all of which include a musical kinetic sculpture, a claymation video, a sculpture of the USS Enterprise as a tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy, a sculpture of a cat’s head, bees encased in a resin heart, or a fish bowl with hanging crystals.

Many of these projects are interdisciplinary, showing off the wide range of extracurricular activities that students can take at Garden Street Academy. Students also must take general courses like math and English at the independent, accredited K-12 school.

“I was sick at some point this year and I was upset about not going to school,” said Ray Kutcher, a sophomore. “The teachers here are so great. I’m taking anatomy, and because it’s a higher-level class, I thought I wouldn’t like it. But it turns out there’s a lot of interesting things that I’ve learned about anatomy and the human body.”

Along with engaging classes and a well-rounded student body, Garden Street Academy teachers are always pushing students to do something they never thought they could.

“I had a student who came in only drawing small things and I said, ‘Why don’t you go big?’” Faulk recalled. “I’m a teacher and it’s my job to facilitate and kind of find the ‘where are you weakest?’ and push you to develop in that way.”

This mentality helped Garden Street Academy students create “Entropy” and can help any child accomplish anything in their future endeavors.

Even if “Entropy” may now be at the point where it’s breaking down and “dying,” as Faulk says, it is an achievement that his students can definitely be proud of.

“I honestly didn’t think we’d finish it,” said ninth-grader Luna Kuttner, who described some structural issues during the last stretch of the project. “We had to revive the sculpture a couple of times. But it’s really awesome to be able to finish something like this.”

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