ArtWorks in Schools was a CCA public arts initiative co-chaired by Mary Ellen Dillard (CCA Board member 1997-2006) and Gayla Borgognoni. Together they led a committee of dedicated volunteers in raising nearly $100,000 in local contributions to place significant works of art in Carbondale’s public schools. The committee’s purpose was to honor and beautify the public spaces where the community’s most valuable assets spend the majority of their time, and to teach young citizens about the power of art to spark imagination and ignite communication.
Medwedeff Forge and Design) was the first ArtWorks commission. It stands nearly 24 feet tall outside the main entrance to Carbondale Community High School, where it has become an icon of the quest for knowledge that takes place within the school.Parhelion, designed and fabricated by area sculptor John Medwedeff (
Ed Shay (emeritus professor of Art and Design at SIUC.) As the detail to the left illustrates, Shay worked with CMS students to identify and incorporate symbols of the educational concepts that CMS students encounter during their middel school experiences.Rosetta Stone is a triptych installed just inside the main entrance to Carbondale Middle School. The painting was commissioned by the ArtWorks Committee from
This bronze sculpture was selected to greet visitors to Carbondale’s Thomas School, where all second grade students are taught to play the violin.This unique curriculum enhancement was inspired by a concert visit from visiting artists, the Kavani String Quartet, in 2003. The Kavani’s concert and related workshops left an indelible impresssion on students and faculty alike and lead to a community-university arts education initiative that was supported in part by CCA’s [Southern Arts Fund] The resulting Thomas Strings Program has become a model for early string education throughout the region.
At Lewis School, where Carbondale fourth and fifth graders hone their reading skills, students and visitors are welcomed by this a young boy and girl reading together on a log. Selected to remind students that books are not just for school, the installation was made possible by a gift from members Lewis family whose parents gifted the land upon which the school was built.
Parrish School houses Carbondale’s youngest learners and sits on a parcel of land that was the former site of the Parrish Family Farm, where major ArtWorks donor Dan Parrish fondly remembers riding horses as a youngster. The young riders pictured in this ArtWorks bronze are a whimsical reminder of the school’s once rural setting.