A new sculpture: Kitchen Trees

A new sculpture: Kitchen Trees

On Wednesday, we headed out to see the new sculpture being installed. As always, the “places in between” were also an attraction, so once we took in the installation process, we explored further.

Wesley noticed a reel which wound up the caution rope around the installation...
A large tree called out to be climbed... There was random joyful running...
And the recently installed sculpture (“Double Grave”) that we had previously explored was rediscovered. Noticing a new “no climbing” sign, we took joy in running through and around it, much akin to our circling the balance beam inside the classroom this winter. Jack took on the role of the stop and go person, slowing folks down and letting them pass. Members of Studio Red were also here to witness the installation, but they found spaces in between, too, as when Helen found a caterpillar. Studio Blue children immediately crowded around to investigate!
On the way back to the classroom, we stopped again by the big crate wrapped in cellophane where Sarah (Montross, one of the curators) had just been talking with Studio Red about the food inside it. Wait, did she say food? We looked closer and discovered bananas, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and more!

Johann has recently been fond of bananas, bringing them up in every context imaginable, and our meeting was the perfect time to bring out the book “BANANA!” by Ed Vere, which has only two words: Banana and Please. One monkey has a banana that the other monkey wants. You’ll have to ask your child about the plot twist at the end…

On Thursday, the sculpture was erected! We headed out, then waited before crossing the road while Diane checked in with Emily Silet: could we touch it? The answer was no, and the children were respectful of the rule. After checking it out (and noticing the food dangling up high) we headed to other locations. We revisited “Double Grave,” this time Johann taking on the role of the “stop and go” person.

We found buggies, ladders and hoses around “Tower (DC)” – it was being cleaned! Ross explained to Diane that they were cleaning it with water and also some chemicals, so we watched from a distance. Then there were calls to go to the climbing rock, and finally the tubes (“Lincoln”) before heading back for meeting and snack.

At LNS we have an unusually rich opportunity to foster our children’s sense of comfort with the school’s surroundings and the people associated with it. Over time, familiarity develops into fondness and respect, and in this way the children are introduced to the concept of stewardship. Sense of place catalyzes over time through shared stories – that’s the sculpture that we run through where someone might play the “stop and go” guard; that one has food that we saw wrapped in cellophane; that sculpture has “steps” that we imagined climbing up – and that we have seen Ross wash with hoses and tall ladders (just like that other sculpture we saw cleaned!); everyone knows the story of the sliding rock, with the “step” that you put your foot into in order to climb onto it. We also know about the people who take care of the sculpture park: Brad, Doug and Wade run the lawnmowers and use the front loader for moving big sticks; Ross cleans the sculptures, along with Cody; Sarah is there for the installation process; Julie could have told us if we were allowed to touch the sculpture, and since she wasn’t available, Emily Silet let us know, and she even joined us to watch “Tower (DC)” being cleaned. Even the creatures that make the surrounding area their home are part of our community – we are fascinated by the caterpillar, the ant, the firefly, the robin with a nest in the birch tree, the hawk we hear calling and see gliding and swooping. Our community and sense of place and belonging has steadily expanded this year, bringing new meaning to our understanding of “taking care.”