Columbus City Schools
The Super Art League brings Visual and Performing Arts programs
focused on Identity, Friendship, Teamwork, and Community
June 24, 2021 -- Around 400 students are working on a one-of-a-kind display of public art this summer for Columbus City Schools. Called the Beehive Sculpture, special education students and students with complex needs are painting and designing mini hexagonal, honeycomb-shaped wooden pieces that eventually will become an eight-foot sculpture.
Once completed, the sculpture will be known as the Beehive. The art project is a partnership with the District’s Special Education Department and the Super Art League in Columbus, a group of artists whose mission is to integrate visual art with performance art to empower youth through curiosity, creativity, and compassion. “The sculpture supports the Summer Experience Program objectives of friendship, teamwork, and community,” said Janette Jones of the Super Art League. “The sweetness is in the learning.”
The Super Art League has worked with a handful of school districts in Ohio. Every sculpture is unique to each school. For example, the beehive sculpture was chosen for Columbus City Schools because the beehive symbolizes community. “Each mini mural or honeycomb represents the individuality of each student,” said Jones. “The schools are the pollinators for learning. The honey is the product of the community, and it’s what every student contributes to the community by being their authentic selves.”
“We feel very fortunate to partner with the SuperArt League as their creativity, passion, and commitment, supporting and empowering students through visual and performing art, is easily observed,” said Dr. Michalene Nelson, Director of Special Education, Compliance and Related Services. “Super Art League is an amazing group of individuals who are bringing an amazing opportunity to our CCS students with disabilities throughout the summer experience.”
Chris Williams, an intervention specialist at Colerain Elementary School, a school where many students have orthopedic and health impairments, works with a student to paint one of the 400 wooden honeycomb pieces. “What color do you want to use?” Williams asks the student. “What about blue? I think that is one of your favorite colors.”
Next to Williams is another student working independently painting his honeycomb piece. Another student prefers markers for his design which are red, white, and black. The Super Art League provided 400 kits to every school building site this summer. Each kit comes complete with a wooden honeycomb piece, paint kits, brush, and instructions. Once students and staff in special education complete their honeycomb, the Super Art League will build the giant Beehive Sculpture.
“Working with Super Art League is providing a unique opportunity for our students to engage in leadership and communication skills while also addressing literacy development,” said Krya Schloenbach, Executive Director Special Education/Student Support Services. “We are excited to partner with Super Art League and develop these innovative programs for our students to grow and develop through the performing and visual arts.”
Later this summer or early fall, Special Education plans to present a video of the process and the final sculpture to Columbus City Schools Superintendent and CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon and Board of Education members. What hasn’t been decided is where this District-wide art sculpture will reside permanently.
Summer Experience Beehive
Columbus City Schools
9' x 5' 3D wooden sculpture mural