(February 12, 1993):
p. 3 C.
Building Ark Are Inspired By Carver.”
Most of the students in Corinna Wilson's and Kimberly
Anderson's fifth-grade classes at Medary Elementary School were a year or two
old when Columbus woodcarver Elijah Pierce died. But for two hours yesterday, they kept his spirit alive.
The students were using quilted material to build a
free-standing soft sculpture that will resemble an ark. They began the project
in early January as part of a competition about Pierce’s work.
A barber by trade, Pierce spent much of his time carving
figures with a religious theme, including one title Noah’s Ark.
Made of cotton cloth and batting, the quilted pieces will
be decorated with a colorful rainbow, the numbers 1 to 100 and the names of the
countries represented by the students' nationalities.
And, as with Noah's Ark, there will be animals. Made of
clay, they include bees, doves, elephants, raccoons, kangaroos, birds, reindeer,
dolphins, mice and an octopus. Noah and his family members also will be on
When finished, the ark will be taken to the Columbus Museum
of Art, where it will join the works of 10 other schools from central Ohio that
participated in a project coinciding with Pierce’s exhibit.
''When people hear quilt, they think of (a) hanging on the
wall,'' Wilson said. ''This is a three-dimensional quilt.”
The students at Medary, 2500 Medary Ave., on the North
Side, spent a week looking at the works of Pierce. They also looked at a sketch
of an ark to capture the shapes, Wilson said.
Theirs will be 4 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet, to fit museum specifications,
Tammy Webb, 11, made a giraffe that will lumber its way
onto the ark. She said the time spent, an hour, was worth it. ''I ran overtime
making the circles and putting in the eyes,'' she said, but “it was really
Each student in the two classes made a pair of animals. The
outside of the quilt will have flags and the animals. The work will be complete
with ramps for the animals and signs in different languages identifying the
The exhibit in which the students' work will be displayed
is called ''Elijah Pierce, Woodcarver.” It
runs through May 16 at the museum.
''This is incredible work,'' said Columbus artist Aminah
Brenda Lynn Robinson, who was at the school to see the students' progress.
''They not only caught the spirit, they caught the ideas, the brilliance” of
Pierce, she said.
Copyright 1993 The Columbus
REPRINTED, WITH PERMISSION, FROM THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH