Students take part in Sculpture Fest fun



A group of Liberty Hill Junior High students decided they wanted a seat at the table this year as the 2018 Sculpture Fest approached.
But they were not about to lean back in their chairs and sit this one out. No, they had bigger plans for those chairs, and are excited to unveil them Saturday at the event auction.

Liberty Hill Junior High Art Teacher Leslie Krizan wanted a project her advanced students could do connected with the Sculpture Fest, and as she looked around at the surplus of old dining chairs at her house, the idea came to her.

The students, 27 in all, would make art pieces out of six chairs, to highlight the six countries represented by the sculptors.

She had a couple of chairs donated, but needed one more and went looking at a Goodwill Store.

“I had to go find one more, and my rule was it had to be less than $10,” Krizan said. “I got up to the counter and he said, ‘Yellow sticker, half price’ and I got it for $4.”

With all the chairs, the class was divided into groups of four and five for the project.

“They are in my advanced class and it counts as a high school credit,” she said. “One of the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) is doing something for the community. I wanted something the kids could work on that could be at the auction for just everyday people, because the sculptures, those are big money. I am always trying to think of ways to help raise money.”

Kids chose their own teams and each team chose a country – United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, or Japan – and decorated them based on a theme from that country.

“They sanded them and they primed them and then they took pictures of different viewpoints and drew up ideas,” she said. “They loved it from day one. I pitched the idea at them, and they loved it. It took them longer to complete them than I originally planned, but as long as they were enjoying it and working I had no problem with it.”

The students have no idea what the chairs might bring in at the auction, but the proceeds will go to the preservation effort, and they are excited to see how much they might be contributing with their work.

“Hopefully some of them will be able to come (to the auction) that night and witness it,” Krizan said. “They love the idea of preservation and restoration, and future symposiums.”

Krizan loves the opportunity to share local art in Liberty Hill with her students, something that makes the art world all the more real for students.

“It is just the fact we have this unusual sculpture garden here in our community,” she said. “As an art teacher I want to promote the arts and I want to support it. This is an opportunity for my kids to show off and to help the community art wise. I always teach about the sculpture garden and I give them an opportunity for extra credit to go over and see them during the festival.”

Watching the sculptors work and taking in the festival has become a new tradition.

“Both years I’ve walked my kids over there it has been a very positive experience meeting the artists and seeing them sculpt the stone,” Krizan said. “You have to take advantage of what you have. Especially if it is in your home community.”