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Art Project by South Lakes High School Students Planned Over Lake Thoreau

by Fatimah Waseem June 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm 9 Comments

An art piece by students at South Lakes High School will be suspended over Lake Thoreau this month. The project, called Connie’s Quilt, is made of rings of white tubing strung together to convey one central theme: community is defined by the connections we have with those around us.

Students from the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) club created the sculpture, with help from the school’s photo, art and design teacher Marco Rando.

Public Art Reston offered the following description of the work:

Connie’s Quilt, is made from rings of white tubing strung together to create an organic and kinetic sculpture suspended over the lake. The artwork, comprised of many parts, is representative of our societal fabric and the importance of connectivity between people. Connie’s Quilt sets out to dispel the myth of the “self-made man” and identify the reality that nobody gets where they are without support from family and friends. Interdependence is crucial to the survival and prosperity of any community, which is represented by the supportive and holistic nature of the rings.

In testimony submitted to Reston Association’s Design Review Board, some residents said that while they appreciated the student’s efforts, the art sculpture was not a welcome addition to the lake.

The proposed sculpture at first glance looks sinister and immediately brought memories of jails and detention centers to my mind – quite the opposite of a peaceful lakeside collection of communities,” wrote Teri-E Belf, a Reston resident.

Echoing similar concerns, Reston resident Najwa Margaret Saad wrote the sculpture evoked unpleasant images that were not appropriate “at a time when our current American public narrative is about refugees, deportations and such.”

“The design size and aspect are not in harmony with the expansive, peaceful, natural, flowing environment of our Lake Thoreau,” Saad added.

On Thursday (June 14) at 6 p.m., the artwork will be on display before it is installed at the Lake Thoreau Spillway. Students will also offer their thoughts on the project. The reception will be held at SLHS in Room 367. RSVPs are requested at [email protected].

Photos via Public Art Reston

  • The Constitutionalist

    “Connie’s Quilt sets out to dispel the myth of the “self-made man” and identify the reality that nobody gets where they are without support from family and friends. Interdependence is crucial to the survival and prosperity of any community, which is represented by the supportive and holistic nature of the rings.”

    I think this is more symbolic of our welfare state. The rings on the outside of the net hold not only themselves up, but the rest of the rings too. Severing that connection and the other rings would fall. I am curious how the rest of the rings provide any support.

    • Drive By Critic

      You may be interested in knowing that I offered an earlier comment regarding this art project that apparently has been censored by the website moderator. Arguments in favor of the “self made man ” (or woman) theory are apparently off limits, I guess, as is any discussion, no matter how brief, of what this chain-link project looks like to a casual observer (chain link school yard fence, border fence, social welfare safety net, maybe a fishing net?). Perhaps when the project’s time on the lake is completed, we could use it to corral those Big Yellow Triffids that are still wandering around the Town Center? –He said in jest , but Reston Now can’t take a joke.

      • The Constitutionalist

        Welcome to my life, good sir.

        At least the mods don’t discriminate.

  • Why do you bother?

    “Connie’s Quilt sets out to dispel the myth of the “self-made man”

    First, this should be self-made PERSON. Second, it’s not a myth. The false declaration would presume that no-one has ever succeeded without a support system – patently untrue.

    One can promote the concept of the benefits community without making false assertions and dismissing people who don’t fit the erroneous model.

    • Drive By Critic

      The notion of the self-made person is often attacked by those who promulgate the “-isms” of the modern era, such as socialism, multiculturalism, and of course, the suspicion of democratic capitalism .

      • Why do you bother?

        And yet, this inclusive, democratic capitalist does not. Which is why generalization is a straw man.

        I wanted to say “generalism is always wrong” but I wasn’t sure anyone would get it.

    • The Constitutionalist

      Excuse me, but it’s self-made life-form.

  • Willie Reston

    LOL I knew the usual dummies would be super TRIGGERED by this. High powered weapons mowing down kids in schools every week: NBD. President all but severing essential alliances in favor of those who align with his dictatorial tastes: NBD. Republican government passes a tax bill which increases the national debt by at least a trillion dollars: NBD. Local teenagers build a nice, creative art installation at virtually no cost to the public: So. EFFING. TRIGGERED!!!

    • The Constitutionalist

      I think the only person triggered is you. Good Lord, take a Xannie.

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