An installation commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Eight Square Schoolhouse in Dryden, NY Commissioned by the DeWitt Historical Society.
The Eight Square Schoolhouse is a unique octagonal structure set in the rural surrounding of the Finger Lakes region of New York. For decades, the brick structure served as the primary school for the area.
My initial response to this installation was shaped largely by the physical space of the schoolroom, in particular the objects contained in it – the books, the desks, quill pens, slates, clothing, and maps, to name but a few.
I put myself in the place of a young student there, and wondered what would go through his head as he sat, dreaming off into space. Suddenly, fantastic images of flying books, prophetic writing on the chalkboard, large ruler and pencil creatures come to life, and elements of the outside seeping in through the windows, flooded my
imagination. This artwork attempts to take the world of the schoolroom and combine it with imagination and creativity. Just like an education can open the mind and advance a young person, so too can the objects of education be explored in creative and expansive ways. My hope is that this installation celebrates the power of
learning, realizes a fantastic visionary dream, and honors a building so influential and necessary in shaping generations of young minds.