Flying Desk Wins

Thomas MacMillan File PhotoWhen students enter the rebuilt East Rock Global Magnet School, they’ll walk under a hanging sculpture of a flying desk and chair.

The sculpture by New York City artist Paul Villinski has emerged the winner of three finalists who came up with designs for works of art at the school at 133 Nash St.

After taking public input in a display at the New Haven Free Public Library, a panel of judges met last week to cast the final vote, said Bob Lynn, the director of New Haven school construction for the Gilbane construction company. The 10-person panel included art teachers, two East Rock aldermen and Barbara Lamb, the city’s director of cultural affairs.

Lynn is overseeing the demolition of the school’s original concrete bunker, which is being razed to make way for a new, light-filled design.

The Dreamdesk, as Villinski calls it, will be suspended in a two-story atrium. The $50,000 commission will be paid for by New Haven’s Percent For Art program, which requires that 1 percent of the city’s contribution to certain building projects go towards a piece of public art. The new $45 million school was designed by Newman Architects of New Haven.

The school was originally slated to open in September of 2012. Lynn said the project has been set back by two months because the demolition contractor uncovered a lot of asbestos in the ground and the building. Lynn said he’s hoping the school will still be ready in time for the first day of school next year, but that may depend on how severe the winter is.

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posted by: Noteworthy on August 2, 2011  2:14pm

With all due respect…

posted by: Bill Saunders on August 2, 2011  4:13pm

How much of this 50k actually goes to the artist?

According to the original proposal, this desk will be collaged with student’s homework.  Will the students be involved with the actual collaging, or are they just providing ‘free art supplies’ and ‘visioning materials’?

Personally, I think the students should get a cut of the action— a maximum ‘artist stipend’ of, say,  $20 per piece of homework, depending on how well they make the grade.