Part and Parcel 

South Lakes High School STEAM Team 

2020 | Installation on the Lake Thoreau spillway March 2021

Plywood, recycled PVC pipe, wire, spray paint, PEX tube, recycled bottle caps.  

This year’s STEAM TEAM Lake Thoreau project explores the Gestalt principle which explains the fact of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. In the sculpture, simple PVC pipes come together to create a complex, and thought-provoking form. The recycled materials STEAM Team used to create the project become beautiful by the way they are connected. The layers of pipe complement each other, becoming a more compelling work of art. This concept finds real-world context in the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as the pipes come together as a greater whole, our communities and frontline workers are coming together to fight COVID-19. Similarly, the sculpture represents the intersection of disparate communities. The distinct red, purple, and pink pipes converge to illustrate the connections between different communities which occur in times of crisis such as the pandemic. Art serves as a great cultural connector because it is universal and accessible. For this reason, the project will become more than a sculpture: it will be a unifying force–a point of connection from which viewers can draw much needed inspiration, hope, and courage. As per the Gestalt theory, the sculpture is much more than recycled PVC pipes and wire. This work is a symbol of unity in a time when togetherness has a new meaning of importance.

Watch video:  opens in a new windowPartParcel_RANews_SBahrami.mov

Project HistoryPart and Parcel is the seventh temporary installation for the Lake Thoreau spillway realized by students at South Lakes High School (SLHS) through the STEAM Team after school program. In 2012, Lake Thoreau resident James Pan approached Reston Association (RA) with the idea of involving SLHS students in transforming the unattractive, concrete spillway platform into a work of art. RA connected Pan with Public Art Reston who saw an opportunity to create a more enriching learning experience by having students follow the same criteria required to fulfill a professional public art process. Through the initial financial support of Pan, RA and Public Art Reston partnered to SLHS and art teacher, Marco Rando, to lead the STEAM Team after school program. Over the course of a school year STEAM Team members gain real world experience in all aspects of the design, development and construction of a public work of art. Members create design concepts and present them to the Public Art Reston Public Art Committee and the RA Design Review Board for final approval. The final design is tested for durability and constructed by students at the high school where it is disassembled and then reinstalled on the spillway by RA staff for all community members to engage with over the course of the installation. 

Project Partners: South Lakes High School, Reston Association, and Public Art Reston

Sponsored by: Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association, Reston Association, Public Art Reston, Hope and Hayes McCarty, Mary and David Prochnow, Melissa Romano, Margrit Kenny, Jeanne Loveland, and Karla Reiter

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