Posted by: groundsforsculpture | February 28, 2010

Through a Child’s Eyes

Early last November, a gentleman called GFS to ask for the title of the sculpture on the side of Route 295 near the Sloan Avenue exit. He said that he had visited the Grounds before and assumed the sculpture belonged to us. He added that he was a 6th grade teacher at a local middle school where his students were starting a unit on art. I suggested that he think about bringing his students here on a school field trip.

Last week I received a thank you note from the teacher, tucked into a book.

Following his class’s field trip to GFS in December, the homework assignment was to select three sculptures they had seen and write a paragraph describing what they thought each was about.The teacher compiled an assortment of the completed assignments bound them into a book, a copy of which he had sent me.

It’s always interesting to find out what viewers think the sculptures are about. Children invariably seem to have the most insight. They view the world from a perspective that most adults have long lost; children see stories and emotions in places where many adults see only form and color.

Here are a few selections from the book, describing what some of the sixth graders from West Windsor Plainsboro’s Community Middle School saw when they visited the Grounds For Sculpture on December 11th.

John Newman. Skyhook, 1998. Steel, stone, epoxy foam, epoxy resin, cable, wood, paint. Courtesy of the Sculpture Foundation, Inc.

On Skyhook: by John Newman “I think this statue is really about how everyone in this world is connected. Each part of the sculpture is connected to another part. The parts all look different but they are all connected in some way, just like the people on this earth. We all look different but we are all the same in one way or another. Everyone is a different size but the layout of our body is still the same. I think the artist is trying to say that although we are all different colors, we should stand together as one and if we do this we will become stronger.”

Robert Ressler, Baruch Ashem, 1989, wood, copper, concrete. Courtesy of the Sculpture Foundation, Inc..

On Baruch Ashem by Robert Ressler: “I think that this piece of art is showing the message that regardless of whether people are the same or different, we can all unite and become one community. The carvings on the pillars are different, and all the people in our world are different. That is what I think of when I see the surrounding pillars. When I see the middle pillar I think that that’s the one that joins us all together to create this united world. All of the statues have different carvings that look similar in a way. Everyone is different but same in a way.”

John Van Alstine, Juggler I, 1993, bronze and granite. Courtesy of the Artist. Photo: David Steele.

On Juggler I by John Van Alstine: I think this piece of art is about attempting the impossible and believing in yourself. You can do anything with a little hard work and effort. The shapes of this piece of art seem impossible to stack up but somehow the creator accomplished this because he/she believed in himself/herself. “There is no such thing as ‘impossible,’” the creator is telling me. Creativity is key; with it you can do anything. The next time you feel like saying, “I can’t so anything,” you have to believe in yourself instead.”

“This piece of artwork is really about how people have much more potential than they think they do. The small ball looks like it is holding up the weight on the top. You would normally think that the weight would be much heavier than the ball. The ball can still hold up the weight. This reminds me of how we will meet many challenges in life. With hard work and determination, you can succeed.”

By Meredith Neubeck, Admission Staff



  1. How profound. I would love to read all the comments. Are they posted anywhere?

    • We will keep posting the children’s insights on the blog periodically. They are fabulous!

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