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For the third consecutive semester, a different pair of students helped make Easton more beautiful by creating sculptures for the Breast Cancer Awareness Garden in Riverside Park on Larry Holmes Drive.

Seniors Katherine Cinnamond (Somers, N.Y.) and Blythe Ford (Sands Point, N.Y.) completed the sculptures as part of independent studies in the art department. Their work, which replaced previous art washed away by Tropical Storm Ivan, was unveiled at the garden during a dedication ceremony Dec. 10.

Last year Cinnamond, an anthropology and sociology major, and Ford, a double major in art and English, were approached by Alastair Noble, assistant professor of art, about creating sculptures for the garden. Noble recommended the project in part because the students would have an entire semester to create the work in a virtually undisturbed setting.

At the beginning of the fall semester, Noble told the students to take sketchbooks to the park and spend some time reflecting on the nature around them. Cinnamond’s sketches evolved into a 10-foot-high wind chime with a cedar base and metal piping. Burned into the top and sides of the wooden base are the inscriptions “Twilight, Shadow, Spirit.”

Cinnamond says that when she was sitting in the park, thinking about what she would like to create, the fluidity, motion, and sound of the river inspired her to come up with the idea of chimes.

Ford’s creation consists of a two-piece brick structure. The identical pieces have columns forming a four-sided spiral. The bricks in the sides go from three, six, nine to 12 bricks high. The sculptures, which face the street side of the park, will remain hollow so flowers or other plants can be planted among the bricks.

Initially Ford’s idea focused on a curved, wooden fence that runs through the park. Her first ideas consisted of a solid brick wall, which would be filled with writing, to complement the fence.

“Being an English and art major, I was trying to find something that mixed my two interests,” she explains. “But I wanted there to be an openness to it.”

Noble says the sculptures enhance the park in different ways.

“Katherine’s design, which capitalizes on motion and sound, embraces the idea of wind and water rushing through the park,” he explains. “Blythe’s brick towers, as they spiral upward, build upon the theme of growth prevalent throughout the natural setting.”

Cinnamond decided to take an independent study in art to further a burgeoning interest in the subject that began while she was studying abroad in Australia. Because her major course work in anthropology and sociology did not allow her to take many art-based electives, she quickly filled an opening in her schedule with the independent study.

“The project is completely unrelated to my major,” Cinammond says. “But I felt that doing something within the art department would be an outlet.”

The independent study took Ford in a completely new direction also.

“It was different than anything I’d done before. As a college student, you really don’t expect to be laying brick,” she says. “It helped me to build upon the idea that art is more than just painting, it can be expanded to so many different things. It will definitely be something I hold onto.”

Noble said that in addition to taking their interests in a new direction, the sculptures gave the young women a unique opportunity that most professional artists crave.

“The whole premise of this work was that they were given this marvelous opportunity,” he says. “Often artists work for many years and don’t get the opportunity to do something in the public realm. This was an excellent opportunity for them to make something that is seen; it doesn’t just remain in the studio, but lives on the ground and is admired by the public.”

The fact that their sculptures would be on display for anyone to view compelled Cinnamond and Ford to work to a higher standard, they say.

“There’s a level of pride involved in this,” Cinnamond says. “I want to take pride in what I show the public, so I invested a lot of time. I tried to go above and beyond.”

In addition to giving a sense of accomplishment, the public art project enhanced their sense of community, the students say.

“Something like this helps us to give back to the town we’ve been living in for four years,” Ford notes.

“The garden is not only an interesting area; it’s been nice to be able to converse with different people in the community,” Cinnamond says.

She adds that Lafayette does a good job of providing students with volunteer opportunities that allow them to feel like members of the community rather than four-year visitors.

Cinnamond has volunteered for the Adopt-a-Grandparent program and is a member of the Delta Gamma sorority and a Student Government representative. She also belongs to the Nia women’s support group.

Ford is a member of Nia and participates in Learning Together in Friendship, a tutoring program coordinated by Lafayette’s Landis Community Outreach Center for fourth-graders at March Elementary School. She has also submitted work to the Marquis literary magazine.

Categorized in: Academic News