Small But Mighty Sculpture Class Expands Artistic Opportunities


Cameron Williams

Molding Materials: A new sculpture class, taught by instructor Rachel Sturgess, is giving North Atlanta art students new expressive opportunities, Shown are (front) juniors Martha Bustamante and Chloe Van Nort; senior Gabriella Diaz and (back) senior Madeline Peckham.

As many students know North Atlanta has an incredible art program, specifically in the visual studio arts department. Warrior art students pride themselves on improving their skills in everything from drawing, painting, and printmaking to ceramics and sculpture. The sculpture class is especially notable this year, consisting of only five students. The class is undoubtedly a small one, but despite its size, this elite crew of creative minds are expanding the art program at North Atlanta.

Sculpture includes a lineup of five talented artists that include seniors Gabriella Diaz, Kate Morris and Maddie Peckham along with juniors Chloe Van Nort and Martha Bustamante. The class instructor of second-year visual arts instructor Rachel Sturgess. Each student in the class has a passion for sculpting, and each one said she was thrilled that the class became a reality. Even on their first official project, their ideas and concepts have quickly come to fruition and beautiful final products are in the making.

With such a small group of students, the class features a different teaching and learning environment. The quality of art has improved even as a close-knit and community has been created. Senior Maddie Peckham has enjoyed having such a small crew in the class. “A lot of what we do can be more focused and unified because of the group size,” she said.

Currently, the sculpture students are creating Japanese Zen gardens, which are miniature gardens used to evoke peace and a meditative mindset. Junior Chloe Van Nort has been extremely interested in this project so far. “I think it’s really cool the array of materials you can use to build the garden,” she said. “You can make them look so realistic even if they’re made out of plastic and sponges.”

These sculptors love the work they do and find joy in creating new pieces of art. Senior Kate Morris has taken a wide range of art classes at North Atlanta through the years but has found sculpture to be her strongest suit. “I really like building things, so sculpture is really fun for me.” she said. “I also love the options of materials we get to use because they really make the art come to life.”

Whether they’re building with cardboard or scavenging for rocks and leaves, these sculpture students are making bold steps in expressing their styles. Their passion for sculpture has created an interesting community of five that is broadening the horizons of North Atlanta’s art program and opening minds to the art and possibilities of sculpture.