DHS art students help revitalize Joe B. Parks river walk with a sculpture garden

Friday, June 8, 2012


EJ Hersom/Staff photographer Hanna Munoz sculpts a tree at Dover High School in an effort to support the Joe B. Parks Riverwalk Community Sculpture Garden in Dover.

DOVER— After being awarded a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Dover High School art students are helping revitalize the Joe B. Parks Rover walk with a community sculpture garden.

The garden and students artwork will be revealed to the public on Saturday, June 9, following months of work by local young artists bringing a fairytale theme to the space.

“We wanted to come up with a fun theme,” said Peter Mareck, 17.

Splitting up the work between classmates, students of Francine Kontos’ sculpture class are participating in the project just as professional artists would and with the help of Green Foundry casting services at Sanctuary Arts.

Building stepping stones, a castle, a dragon and a number of other pieces, the students all said they really loved being asked to participate and look forward to having their artwork become permanent fixtures in the community.

“We want it to be top notch. We want tot show the public that teenagers can do good things, too,” Michaela Therrien, 18, said.

She and her peers understand that youths in the community don’t always have the best reputation and they intend to change that through their dedication to community and the artwork they’re passionate about. Therrien said she and her classmates want people to see that they each want to help improve the Garrison City.

“We’re ready to be good Samaritans,” she said.

The two-step process of creating each piece uses a new type of rubber new to the students as well and is being completed by the Green Foundry.

“This whole project has kind of been an experiment,” Hannah Porter, 18, said.

“It’s a big deal for these guys, they’ll be able to leave a legacy,” Kontos said.

Christopher Strickland, district fine arts coordinator, wrote the grant proposal that allowed the students to participate in the project and get an authentic experience as artists. The building class at DHS will help to install the pieces in the garden where they will remain.

An official ceremony to reveal the sculptures to the Joe B. Parks Sculptural Garden will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday and is open to the public.