Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Get into Their Sculpture, Then out Again

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Get into Their Sculpture, Then out Again

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

Two gymnasts were doing a precarious hand-balancing routine while suspended from the ceiling.

Nearby, Atlas was balancing the weight of the world on his back.

Upstairs, an alien was surveying his domain.

It was a surreal sight at Sandalwood High School when students literally got wrapped up in their art.

They took 90,000 feet - more than 17 miles - of clear packing tape and enveloped themselves in the sticky stuff. After being "released," only the "shell" of tape remained. The result was a unique form of sculpture using the human body as a model.

The 30 figures, which took about a month to create, are on display in the school's media center.

Art teacher Jesse Nolan got the idea for the project at an advanced placement class he took last summer. He came to the John Prom Boulevard school two years ago after a career sculpting action figures for Hasbro, Toy Biz and Disney World. The Southside resident also has taught sculpture at the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art and the Ponte Vedra Cultural Center.

To fund the project, Nolan called 3M in Minnesota and got the multinational company to donate 50 cases of tape. Half was used for this project, and the other half will be used next school year.

Students in his sculpture classes served as models for each other. The process involved putting a layer of tape sticky side up followed by four layers sticky side down, giving it enough rigidity to hold its shape. When completed, a few snips with surgical scissors enabled them to slip out of their cocoons.

Nolan said he was impressed with the work of Sandalwood's students.

"I was very surprised at their ingenuity and the variety of what they produced," said Nolan, citing sculptures ranging from a soccer player to a man on crutches to Spiderboy scaling a wall. "I didn't realize they would be able to get such complicated poses. The kids were very innovative. One would spur another on."

Ashley Briddell, who's played soccer since fourth grade, wanted to ensure her sculpture of a soccer player looked authentic. …

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