KOKOMO, Ind. — As an artist, Abby Goley usually prefers to work alone.
This week, though, she and her classmates constructed a sculpture together on the Indiana University Kokomo campus, as the final product of a Maymester class on land and environmental art.
They built their class project, "Rays of Light," from the Well House to the Earth Stage, creating sculpture from metal poles, transparencies, wire, yarn, clothesline, and Styrofoam. It will remain on display for a week or two, inspiring students to achieve their goals.
Goley, a fine arts major from Kokomo, learned about teamwork from the experience, and developed new artistic skills.
"Usually, an artist creates alone, so this was a new experience," she said. "It was interesting to have to consider everyone's ideas and opinions, and make decisions based on what everyone wants, not just what you want to do. I feel like I grew as an artist, because I usually prefer to paint or do silk screening, rather than sculpting."
John Davis, a business major from Kokomo, expected a lot of lectures when he enrolled in the class, taught by Minda Douglas, assistant professor of fine arts.
Instead, the class visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Art Center outdoor sculpture garden, learning about contemporary art, and gathering inspiration for their own final work.
Douglas said the final project was a key component of the class.
"Making something at the end of the class is important, to use what we learned," Douglas said. "It's a creative way to learn, rather than just studying names and titles of art work and remembering them for a test. This adds another dimension to the experience."
Davis liked using what he learned to make something.
"I'm not very artistic, so I was surprised by how much I liked this class," he said. "I didn't know much about earth and environmental art, and I was surprised by how much fits into that category."
Andrea Bailey, who is completing her general studies degree during summer school, thought they would do a lot of drawing, and was happy to make sculpture instead. She enjoyed working on their project, which included transparencies of inspirational quotes hanging on clothesline by clothespins. It is meant to inspire students to persevere to achieve their goals.
"I hope anyone who sees it is encouraged to continue on with life, and push past any problems along the way," she said.
IU Kokomo's new Maymester program offers student a chance to earn three credits in a short time period, in an immersive class. A few other offerings include a creative performance class, in which students will write, act in, and direct a play; urban geology, complete with fieldwork; and a public relations campaign class that involves working with a local business or nonprofit organization
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.