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High School Sculpture in the City 

High School Sculpture In The City Challenge

Sculpture Artist Reza Pishgahi Teamed Up With Students At Belleville West To Create A Unique Piece For The City

The law firm of Mathis, Marifian and Richter Ltd. has sponsored Art on the Square’s High School Sculpture in the City program for nine years now. “Our firm is very proud of this program and how it has evolved over the years. It has given us an opportunity to give to the students, their schools and our community,” Pat Mathis said.

Numerous sculptures have been added to the City of Belleville’s collection because of this sponsorship and the students of Belleville West, East, Althoff and Governor French have been given the unique experience of creating sculpture under the direction of a contemporary sculptor. Belleville West students were the recipients of this year’s opportunity.

Abstract sculpture artist Reza Pishgahi from Bloomington, Ind., said, “as a full-time artist I was invited to join this year’s project. I came up with a design concept that allowed for maximum input from the students. The general idea of the design is a welded metal circle symbolic of any group, community, city or nation. At the top of the metal circle, there is a wide gap, which is symbolic of division. The two abstract seated figures facing each other at the gap appear to be engaged in an effort to close the gap.”

The goal of this particular project was to facilitate cooperation between the art students as well as welding class students and a working artist. First, the art students were asked to write a short description that included the title, dimension, colors, outline of the figures, and other relevant aspects of the sculpture. “Then, students in the welding class were responsible for creating the metal structure of the sculpture,” Pishgahi said. 

“My hope was to offer a fun, cooperative and educational experience for all the students involved,” he said. “The result was the creation of a beautiful sculpture for the community.”

On the Opening Night of Art on the Square, Pishgahi and the participating students will unveil the piece that he is donating to Belleville’s Sculpture in the City collection. This work will be on view throughout the duration of Art on the Square and will then be mounted in one of Belleville’s parks to be enjoyed by all.

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