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Woven Inspirations: Sculpture by Luther School students

February 7, 2022

We so often find that art reflects life and life reflects art – it is a beautiful continuum that we enjoy exploring at Tippet Rise Art Center. We saw this exemplified most recently as part of an art workshop with Luther School students, a K-8th program located in a small hamlet between Red Lodge and Fishtail, who we have been delighted to work with over the years as part of our year-round educational engagement with schools throughout the region. The school, which is part of the Montana Public School System and one of the last rural schools in the county, opened in the early 1900s as a one room schoolhouse, not unlike the nearby Stockade schoolhouse, the replica of which forms the base of Patrick Dougherty’s Daydreams at Tippet Rise.

Fittingly, our most recent project with Luther School students was to highlight the artworks of Patrick Dougherty and another Tippet Rise artist, Stephen Talasnik, who both use natural or indigenous materials to create their large-scale architectural sculptures, and to encourage the young artists to make their own woven and nature-inspired works of art.

Led over the course of three weeks by Tippet Rise’s Art Education and Visitor Center Manager Beth Korth and Visitor Experience Manager Jenny Van Ooyen, a dozen K-6th grade students from Mr. Willis Johnson’s art class began their project by learning and thinking about creating a structure, the strength of triangles, and other building techniques that help build a strong foundation. They were then given flat and rounded bamboo material to weave and glue in place to convey form, exploring multiple textures. They could take inspiration from objects in nature or their own imagination to invent their works. Students then used paint, sanding and editing to polish and complete their projects, which are currently on display at Cattail Bakery in downtown Red Lodge until the end of February.

If you are in the area, we encourage you to stop by Cattail Bakery to see the Luther School student creations and to enjoy one of the bakery’s delicious scratch baked goods.