(734) 641-6550

Sculpture Garden opens at Wayne Memorial

The Sculpture Garden had its grand opening at Wayne Memorial on Tuesday, May 21st.

By Sarah Shurge – Some people can see something ordinary and imagine something extraordinary — all it takes is a vision. Where people just saw cement and grass, Lisa Hermann saw an opportunity for her students.
“I love gardening and we [Wayne Memorial High School] have this space that is just a cement pad and grass that is not very pretty. I thought it would be nice to put flowers out there, but I wanted to get the kids involved and create a space they would be happy to be in. So we used art and my gardening,” said Hermann, Wayne Memorial Art Instructor.
This is Hermann’s second year teaching at Wayne Memorial, however, she’s been teaching for 38 years total. “Even after 38 years, I still love my job,” said Hermann. “To come in and see all the kids come in and have a place to express themselves and create at any level, it gives me a lot of joy.”
Hermann wanted to turn the cement pad and grass into a sculpture garden for her art students, so she applied for a grant from the Wayne-Westland Foundation.
The Wayne-Westland Foundation’s goal is to provide opportunities for teachers to fund innovative experiences that enhance the learning environment.
Hermann’s sculpture garden idea was approved, and she received the grant she needed to bring the garden to life.
She reused the planter beds that were not being used, the school district provided dirt, teachers donated plants, and students helped plant and water the plants.
Hermann and her students worked with cement, which was a new process for everyone. They created mushrooms and garden orbs, standing sculpture out of recycled cans, and turned two fence posts into “peace poles.” The poles say “let peace prevail on earth” in 16 different languages. The students also created a zebra painting on a window for the Zebra Garden, as well as glass beads and resin for another window.
Hermann teaches a mix between grades 9-12, so around 50 kids were involved in the sculpture garden. Her special needs class did the majority of the planting and watering.
The Sculpture Garden had its grand opening at Wayne Memorial on Tuesday, May 21st. “I was thrilled and it went great,” said Hermann. “I want to thank all the people that were a part of it.”
Hermann wanted to give a special shout out to Melandie Hines, School Board Secretary,
Anika Corbitt, Marketing Specialist, as well as all Wayne Memorial administration for attending the grand opening. Also, a shout out to Studio 1, Studio 2, Art 2, and the Link Art class for contributing to the garden.
The grand opening had water, popcorn, and cookies, and music by the Zebra Band Saxophone Ensemble playing the entire time. “It was a really nice collaboration with the band. They played very well,” said Hermann.
Hermann also wanted to give a shout out to her husband, Jeff Avis. “He is the mind behind the stable structures in the garden. I have the creative ideas and he does the implementation,” said Hermann.
Hermann wants the sculpture garden to be a place to put art and have art recognized, as well as bring awareness to being a part of the community. The plan is to continue to add to the garden year after year. Hermann’s students, as well as more classes will participate next year, and the garden will grow and continue to be a place kids can create pieces. “It’s hard for kids to understand public art until they are a part of it,” said Hermann. “The kids knowing they were a part of creating that, it was really cool to see.”
Hermann stated that the plants are starting to come out in their box and the kids are so excited about it. Hermann is hoping to have professional artists come in the future and teach the kids other ways to create sculptures.
“The kids feel ownership in the space and that’s what I was going for,” said Hermann. “It’s easy to do stuff when you love it.”

About the Author

Related Posts