The Pocketparks team hosted a public art workshop in collaboration with UMSL for Girls Inc. St. Louis. Eighth grade girls from the St. Louis region were invited to explore the different mediums of public art, the concepts behind public art, and the impact art has on the community.
“Public art is not only for beautification, it inspires pride, civic engagement, and builds social capital,” said Founder, Samantha Lee Smugala, “and what is so great about public art is that its public! It’s accessible to all.”
The second half of the workshop prompted the group of girls to design and build a sculpture that “Sparks a Conversation”. They used design thinking to define their goals, brainstorm, create a concept, test and refine, and implement. At the end of the workshop, the girls had created thoughtful sculptures and installed them in a courtyard on UMSL’s campus.
The 3 teams worked collaboratively to develop their sculptures within a 4 hour time period. Materials included pool noodles, garden posts and plant twists, wire, zip ties, pvc pipe, adhesives, and more. All items you can find at home or in a nearby store. You can see the results of their work and their sculpture descriptions below.
Women in the world often don’t have a voice. The sculpture features a woman holding the world yet has chains around her hands. Her voice and opportunities are limited. The piece is intended to inspire women to break free and be heard.
“This sculpture is for all the women in the world that have felt they had to be silent about who they are and what they stand for. Our voices will not be silent.”
A Celebration of Freedom.
This sculpture is about a person is who is looking at the various phases on his life. Growing and climbing, reaching success, and stepping down. Each phase comes with different challenges, emotions, and fulfillment.
“This sculpture is about a boy looking up at his future self, the prime of his life, his success, and stepping off the podium.”
Even the instructors were inspired to create! Dr. Fatemeh Mardi created two sculptures. One is a self-portrait displaying the dichotomy and intersection of her personal and professional life. The other, a thought bubble showing the complexity and the beautify of the mind.
Dr. Keith Miller created a fun, playful, and animated planter named Dr. Suess’ Flower Box.
The end result was a sculpture garden that added beauty, inspired ideas, and sparked conversation.