Gathering of the Herd
Detroit Connections: In the Classroom worked with 5th graders at Detroit’s Garvey Academy to make life size baby elephant sculptures from recycled materials including burlap sacks donated from Roos Roast Coffee, plastic bags, fabric scraps, cardboard, and more.
Inspired by the work of the South African Human Elephant Foundation, the project was integrated into classroom lessons designed to raise awareness about how people can creatively address issues caused by humankind’s expanding ecological footprint. Students discussed conservation, sustainability and environmentalism and traveled to see Nomkhubulwane, the two-ton elephant sculpture from the Human Elephant Foundation, who traveled across North America and was elephant-in-residence at Marygrove College and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in the Cultural Center.
At the end of the semester long project, the elephants were exhibited at the Butzel Family Center, adjacent to Marcus Garvey Academy and at Work•Detroit, along with other elephants created by Detroit school children with Marygrove College’s Visual Art Department. The exhibition, The Gathering of the Herd, showcased the artwork of students from over fifteen area K-12 schools.