Sousa fifth-grade students have been invited to serve as guest artists for a community beautification project that will involve the waterfront area very near to the school. Port North Mayor Bob Weitzner has approached Dr. David Meoli, principal of Sousa Elementary School, about having the students create a work of art to be shown along with a number of professional pieces as part of a Bay Walk Waterfront Park.
Sousa parent and landscape architect Christopher Crowley, artist Barbara Stein (from the Port Washington Art Guild) and Sousa teacher Stephen Moore will work with 77 "graduating" fifth-graders and their classroom teachers to create and construct an outdoor sculpture to be utilized as a bench for a community Bay Walk Project. This outdoor installation will involve the individual creativity and participation of each of the teachers and students involved in order to provide a student artist contribution to the planned three-quarter-mile paved path along Shore Road and Manhasset Bay.
Students will learn about the planning and construction phases of outdoor sculpture/seating areas (e.g., installation and site decisions, aesthetics and finances), do thumbnail sketching and model building, visit several similar creations in New York, and be part of an installation celebration with the artists, teachers, and Port Washington community. The students will create two identical benches/sculptures one of which will become a permanent part of the Bay Walk Waterfront Park (being planned and executed by the Village of Port Washington North in cooperation with the Town of North Hempstead), and a second which will be installed at the Sousa Elementary School.
Mayor Weitzner contacted Dr. Meoli after visiting a similar set of installations in Greenport, where he saw a student work which made him realize how vibrant and important it was to have the voice of children represented in public works. Recalling the many installations that Sousa students have accomplished over the years to beautify their school, he had Bay Walk committee member Debbie Greco reach out to the school upon his return to Port Washington. Sousa students are thrilled to dedicate their yearly fifth- grade art project to an exhibit which will represent them not only at school, but out in the community.
The bench will be created in time for the Sousa Art Show in late May, with installation at the Bay Walk to follow some time in 2008.