Fuquay-Varina Revitalization Association is so committed to public art that it has an Appearance Committee. Ballentine Elementary School Art Teacher Randy Bryant is a member of that committee and a staunch advocate of public art. Fuquay-Varina benefitted from this earlier this month when Bryant’s art students created a sculpture 12 feet wide and 8 feet high for all to enjoy on Main Street.
Bryant had the perfect resources to create such a significant structure. For 10 years he had saved the cardboard tubes that laminate came on for just such an opportunity. Fourth graders from Susan Dombrowski’s class painted about 200 of the recycled cardboard tubes bright colors and Bryant contructed the sculpture on the lawn of Fidelity Bank just in time for the Celebrate Fuquay-Varina Festival and Art Festival held Downtown earlier this month.
“Marsha Dorman of Fidelity Bank gave me permission to build on the lawn,” Bryant said. “One of my goals was to show what a difference art can make in a community.”
The brightly colored sturcture was so appealing that children climbed on it, thinking that it was made of steel. With help from the rain earlier in the week and the weight of people climbing on it, the sculpture collapsed just a few days after it was installed.
“We knew it was temporary,” Bryant said. The students were disappointed, but he said they talked about it. “There were a lot of lessons in this project.”
One of his students, Jonathan Percy, said, “I got many things from this project. One big thing was at first I didn’t know how much art makes a difference. Now I know that. Another thing that I got out of it was teamwork is one of the keys of making a big piece of art. Also, last but not least, I found out how art makes you come closer with your classmates. Even the kids you don’t like. After that, I think all of us are friends. Oh I forgot. This project may not be permanent in our community, but it will be in our hearts. I am proud of us.”
Bryant said that he hopes the community groups and individuals will come together to create more public art in the future.