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Friday, May 6, 2011

The King George Private Blog

Hi Teachers - The King George Private Blog address is:

You will have to be invited to be a reader.  Please use your cbe email address to request being added by emailing Geoff at and you can always change it to your personal address when you receive your invitation. Cheers, Corinne for Geoff Sandhurst

Thursday, May 5, 2011

King George Students and Teachers

Dear King George School Staff, Students and Community Members:

It was a fabulous three day hammering session!  It's exciting to actually be working on the sculpture together now and have the design phase complete.

I am delighted to be getting some questions about the sculpture we are collaborating on at King George School and I am putting the answers on the King George private blog for Teachers to access and show their students.  Its a private blog for us to communicate on.  If you are a teacher and would like to post your students comments and view the blog, just email me your CBE email address.  I have added some of the teachers already.  Also, if you can't remember how to access it, just email me at

If you are a parent or community member with questions, you are welcome to post your questions here or ask your child's teacher to ask the question on your behalf on the private King George School blog.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Media Release by King George School Council May 3, 2011

Media Release
May 3, 2011

For further information contact: Jodi Dixon, Naturalization Committee, King George School Council, tel: 403 401 2420 Lara Olson, Schoolgrounds Committee,King George School Council, tel: 403 619-9105 

 “Under the Prairie Sky” Collaborative Sculpture (King George School, NW) 
This project engages a noted Calgary metal sculptor to work with the school’s children and create an evocative piece of public art on the school site. The sculpture celebrates the natural features of the short-grass prairie on which King George school was founded in 1912, as one of Calgary’s historic sandstone schools. The sculpture is based on the theme “Under the Prairie Sky” that has been developed to guide exciting future naturalization efforts in the north field illustrating the natural history of NW Calgary, which will be undertaken in partnership with the City Parks department. 
The project brings together a noted Calgary metal sculptor, Geoff Sandhurst, ( leading a dynamic collaborative design process with the students and giving them the opportunity to learn about and experience telling the area’s story through metallic materials. On May 3, 4, and 5 Geoff and parent volunteers will lead the students in individually texturizing the 550 small metal plates that form an integral part of the resulting sculpture the kids have also helped design. 
The sculpture will form a gateway to the new playground and naturalized park in the largest part of the school grounds. A dynamic new playground with a natural climbing rock zone was completed in October 2010 (Phase 1). Phase 2 is the naturalization of the north field which will take shape over 2011 and 2012 and within a short grass prairie setting include stepping stones with animal tracks, an outdoor classroom, a heritage garden, and a “discovery archaeology” section including trails and a bison wallow. This ambitious parent-drive project to create a dynamic new community park has forged partnerships with the Calgary Board of Education, the City of Calgary Parks, the Mount Pleasant Community Association, the Alberta government through the Lottery Fund, Alderman Druh Farrell, the Calgary Parks Foundation, the Calgary Foundation, the Calgary Zoo’s Schoolyard Naturalization program, as well as local businesses. The 100th anniversary of many of the city’s original sandstone schools is approaching and this is an opportunity to create an exciting legacy on a site that strongly represents Calgary’s past. 
Authentic Learning: A Student-focused Design Process 
The project aims to give children the opportunity to learn in an authentic way about the creative process, and the art of metallic sculpture in particular, through creating a lasting legacy for the school. 
The design process began when, Geoff Sandhurst, a sculptor, illustrator and designer who is this year’s guest artist, was introduced to students on November 26, 2010 during a special assembly. Since then, students have been involved in research on the site’s history and each class has proposed images Geoff will use to tell the story about what the prairies looked like before Calgary existed. Though initial plans were to include only one large and one small animal given cost constraints, during these design sessions students proposed many additional images and committed to raising additional funds if necessary. 
Geoff has worked with all the student input and created an amazing final design (below) that evokes the rich texture of prairie ecology and includes a bison rubbing against an erratic boulder, a hawk, a weasel, birds, and a trembling aspen bowing under the spirit of a Chinook wind. Geoff is currently building the metal frame and on May 2, 3 and 4 each child will use a small hammer to texturize metal plates, and these 550 plates will be riveted together and mounted within the frame. By the summer, students will celebrate their achievement with the final product that will be installed at the entrance to City lands featuring the playground and future naturalized area. 

For further information contact: Jodi Dixon, Naturalization Committee, King George School Council, tel: 403 401 2420 Lara Olson, Schoolgrounds Committee,King George School Council, tel: 403 619-9105 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

King George Project

I am immersed in a creative collaborative sculpture project called "Under The Prairie Sky" with Calgary Board of Education - King George School students and staff right now.  It's an incredible experience and I am looking forward to sharing more here soon. I am in a three day artist residence, with the students hammering textures onto metal plates for a sculpture that we designed together.  It's been so interesting as they challenged me to include elements in the sculpture that I had not considered, and there were other elements that we agreed on from the start.  I love this kind of collaborative work.

The King George school's website for the naturalization project that this sculpture is part of :

I believe there will be more information about the sculpture portion posted on the King George School site  soon.

I am looking forward to working with the students for Day 2 tomorrow!