Northwest bronze sculptor Kevin Pettelle devotes weeks each autumn to work with Wenatchee fifth graders as part of the Beauty of Bronze program. Kevin has worked with more than 6,000 students in Wenatchee over fourteen years—600 this year alone in the Beauty of Bronze program. Kids learn the elements of the art and explore specific sculptures in the Performing Arts Center and in Riverfront Park. They work collaboratively to create temporary environment sculpture from natural materials in the Andy Goldsworthy Challenge. The final activity of the day has students creating their own sculptures out of wax, which will be sent to a foundry and cast in bronze, and returned to students to keep. The children’s sculptures will be featured at an artists’ reception held in their honor at the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center the first Friday in December.
When asked how they felt about the day, responses included, “It was super fun,” “I liked the Andy Goldsworthy challenge because we made a house from sticks,” and “I liked it when we touched the art.”
Kevin is the 2012 Artist of the Year for the Schack Arts Center, Everett, and is well known for his bronze statues, particularly of J.P. Patches on display in Seattle, and Guppo the Clown, in honor of longtime Youth Circus director Paul Pugh, on display in Wenatchee. Five of Kevin’s sculptures are on display locally.