Bay High students create sculpture for BAYarts

BHS art instructor Tom Schemrich (kneeling) with student sculptors Joey Strunk, Mitch Saine, Colleen Rodman, Kate Ramella and Alissa Kolke.

This is the story of how an abandoned tree trunk turned into an awe-inspiring sculpture now installed on the BAYarts campus.

Last summer, Nancy Heaton, BAYarts' executive director, mentioned to Bay High School art instructor extraordinaire Tom Schemrich that the sculpture garden was in need of a sculpture; maybe he had an idea. Anyone who knows Schemrich knows he took this request as a serious creative challenge, one the students would have an integral part in conceiving, creating, installing and maintaining.

Under his direction, the students submitted several ideas to BAYarts in the form of small clay models. After selecting the design of winding hands reaching upward, it was sent to Cleveland Metroparks (BAYarts' landlord) for approval. That was the easy part.

Starting with the massive trunk of a fallen fir tree, the students began to transform it in the confines of the Bay High School art classroom, between classes, on weekends and throughout the summer. One year and many, many, many hours, days and months later, their vision became a reality.

In early August "By Nature, Creative" was installed at BAYarts; the name a take on BAYarts' tagline "Artistic by Nature." The work has been received with great joy by Bay Village residents and BAYarts community.

"It seems like it was always meant to be there," said Sally Hayes, who often has morning coffee on the Fuller House porch with her husband, Terry, and friends. "Its perfect, it feels right."   

Pixie Emerson

BAYarts, non-profit art education and exhibition center in Bay Village

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 10:04 AM, 08.20.2013