SEDGWICK — Red Hook, N.Y., artist Steven Spiegel believes we humans “are the landscape” not only by our physical presence, but also by the messes we leave and what happens over time to all that material from discarded newspapers to nuclear waste. In that spirit, Spiegel creates site-specific sculptures out of compressed cans, plastic bottles and other waste that changes form with the years.
Taking their cue from Spiegel’s “Big, with rift,” a towering series of stacks composed of newspaper, standing on the grounds of the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Mass., Sedgwick Elementary School’s fourth grade is making its own statement with 3,600 copies of The Ellsworth American and its sister newspaper, The Mount Desert Islander. Since early September, art teacher Sarah Doremus and her class have dug holes, cut rebar and mixed and poured concrete.
A sculptor herself, Doremus sees the project as a vehicle for her pupils to see how nature will erode and eventually erase their creation. She hopes they’ll recognize the potential of waste as a building block and learn what goes into making a newspaper.
This week, the fourth-graders began stacking the newspapers packed with stories of our readers and communities.