On April 21, Jeanne Muzi, elementary enrichment/gifted and talented teacher, and her Outdoor Art Team (OAT), which includes Ben Franklin art teacher Anthony (Toj) Colavita and Slackwood art teacher Jill Lee-You, were at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton to participate in Community Connections: The Wheel Project.
The OAT focuses on creating projects that bring members of a community together and encourages adults and children to work collaboratively to create art with whatever materials are available.
The Wheel Project explores how the arts create community and the dialogue that the arts generate, especially about issues of sustainability. The educators collected donated materials from a variety of sources.
Metal bike rims were donated from a number of bicycle shops including The Bike Exchange in Trenton. Individuals, families, and classes donated plastic tablecloths, shopping bags, yarn and plastic bottles that were later cut into smaller components.
Using bike rims, florist wreaths, and wire circles as the armature for their works, community members attended workshops where they repurposed the donated materials into sculptural wheels. The completed pieces, while each unique, were unified by the common use of entirely repurposed materials.
At the conclusion of each workshop, the colorful wheels were collected and later assembled into whimsical, temporary sculptural installations at several locations in Mercer County, such as this exhibition on view from May 3-June 16 at Grounds For Sculpture.
At the end of each installation, the wheels are put into storage for possible use in future installations when the wheels are recycled once again.