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Bedford Village Students Take Part in Sculpture Challenge

 William Oden holds his sculpture “Well, it is based on the Grateful Dead song,” fifth grader William Oden said of his sculpture, “Fire on the Mountain.” With wispy red-orange “flames” and a cardboard and clothespin mountain range, William’s sculpture was one of the more minimalist pieces in Bedford Village Elementary School’s sculpture challenge. 

The brainchild of Liz Omilinsky, a parent on the fifth grade fundraising committee, the sculpture challenge was designed to accomplish three things: showcase the creativity and innovation of BVES students, benefit a local business and raise money for the fifth grade’s graduation expenses.

“All of this year’s fundraising efforts are focused on Bedford Village businesses,” Omilinsky said. “We are doing a wonderful bouquet-of-the-month subscription with Bedford Village Flower Shoppe, wreath-decorating kits from Troy’s Nursery and the sculpture project with Ace Hardware of Bedford. Instead of asking for donations or discounts, we requested to pay retail for all supplies so that these businesses would benefit.”

For the sculpture challenge, Omilinsky and her fundraising partner Brittany Tanzi gave art teacher Madalyn Grano a budget and asked her to work with Ace Hardware to create supply kits that students could use to make sculptures. They sold about 75 kits to students across all grades and gave them two weeks to create a masterpiece.

“They are precious and amazing and so innovative,” Grano raved. “This is the closest thing we will have to an in-person art show since everything is going to be virtual this year.”

The sculptures are on display throughout the school, where students and staff can enjoy them at their leisure. Though students all worked with the same materials, it is fun to see how different their creations are: from fairy wonderlands and “Sky Island Bowling” to treehouses, wintry landscapes and William’s musically-inspired piece, the creativity on display is truly inspiring.Samara White holds her sculpture

“I like the challenge of having a set of materials and having to figure out what to do with what you’re given,” William said.

Second grader Samara White was up for the STEAM challenge as well, adapting her “Magical Fairy Garden” sculpture where necessary when her original plans backfired.

“I was going to make a baby fairy, but it didn’t work out,” Samara said. “The wings wouldn’t stay on.”

Samara said her work was inspired by magic, colors and the nature vibes in her own home.

“Fairies like nature,” she said. “And I like fairies because they’re magical.”

While the sculptures are inspiring on their own, their impact is equally admirable.

“The money we have raised will go to an end-of-year graduation celebration for the fifth graders,” Omilinsky said. “Whatever is left over will be donated to the Mt. Kisco Food Pantry. It has been wonderful to have the kids pitch in to support our community.”

See a slideshow of the sculptures here.