But the piece, which depicts eight billowing, blue-green clipper ship sails, isn't in a public square or at a museum. It's mounted to the side of
The installation is one of many sculptures and other pieces of art that have been integrated into school landscapes across
A huge, brightly painted steel sculpture, "Nut and Bolt" by
"Art is important to education," said
How much art can be saved will depend chiefly on the budget, and the stadium authority hasn't put a price tag on the endeavor. That decision must be weighed against other needs. The city school buildings are the oldest in the state, many with inadequate facilities, broken windows and no air conditioning.
"We don't know what the extent and the impact is going to be," Johnson said. "We'll continue to evaluate as we go through the design process."
The stadium authority is working with the
Trusheim said she is evaluating not only the aesthetics but the structural soundness of the pieces.
"I'm trying to find cracks or gaps, anything that would compromise its stability," Trusheim said as she took pictures of the installation on a recent morning.
The support rods need cleaning to remove layers of dirt and corrosion, but they're sturdy, Trusheim said. She noted that Streett used a different metal for the rods than he did for the sails, which have acquired a patina similar to that of the Statue of Liberty.
Trusheim documented the coloring, too. For the sails' rippling surface, she said, she'll recommend a biannual wash and a wax coating that will help saturate the copper to keep it from degrading.
"Our main mission is to restore the piece to the artist's original intent," Trusheim said. "We want to uphold that intent but halt the process of degradation."
Only so much of the examination can be done from a distance. Until the school removes the sculpture from the wall, Trusheim and Fullick will research its history. On Trusheim's recent visit, head custodian
The two conservators said they would like to get the students involved. Such a partnership would benefit the students and the art, Fullick said, as students could take ownership of the pieces and ensure that the art gets the restorative care it needs.
"I'm biased, but I think conservation is very interesting," she said. "It would be really great in a school setting. We could tailor it to the level of the students in the schools."
Patterson student government members Meleigha McCall and
Patterson has been held up as an example of why city school facilities need upgrading, and teachers and educators have complained about a lack of air conditioning and ill-equipped classrooms.
Even if the school looks completely different inside and out, alumni will see the clipper sails on the wall and remember how it used to be, McCall said. "It's good to add in new stuff, but people like old memories."
"It has been here for years," Collins said of the artwork, a constant through several administrations and many graduating classes. "It brings people together."
Jordan hopes to see the art saved. The head custodian serves on the planning board for the new building and has taken on the informal role of interior decorator, helping design office spaces and pitching ideas to administrators.
He'd like to see "Sails" moved to a courtyard with a water feature to go with it.
"Most folks are visual learners," he said. "It's important to have visually stimulating things here to help them develop as human beings."
"Art makes you think," said
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