Q&A: Students Collaborate with Artists for Humanity


Kathryn Lee

The group of eight students pose on the gator bench they constructed.

Charles McLaughlin, Senior Journalist

Throughout May, a group of 11th and 12th-grade students collaborated with the Boston-based nonprofit Artists for Humanity on a woodworking project. According to its website, Artists for Humanity “provides under-resourced teens the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design.”

The group of eight students met weekly this semester with the goal of designing and building an art installation for the School’s campus. This past month, they built “Gloria, The Gator Bench,” a 900-pound abstract wood sculpture.  For insight on this project, The Gator spoke with Martin Maynard ’22, one of the students participating in the collaboration.

Martin Maynard ’22 works on the alligator’s head. (Kathryn Lee)

What did the process of participating in the Artists for Humanity project involve?

For the past few months—I think we started in January—I and a few other students have been working on designing a bench for students to use. We’ve been working with an organization in Boston called Artists for Humanity. The field trip was for touring their facility and helping the seniors a bit.

Was this part of a project for one of the School’s diploma programs?

No, it was an extracurricular thing. It started with a volunteer application back in December.

How were you helping the 12th-grade class with this collaboration?

The seniors on the project had been doing it as part of their 12th Grade Project, and we were assisting them.

What were you making for this project?

Our first idea was to make it an abstract bench and to use all-natural materials. The entire bench is made out of wood.

What does an abstract bench such as this one entail?

It’s not your traditional bench outside of school. It is both a piece of art and a bench. We had a design of the head, body, and tail of an alligator, so when you are sitting on it you will be sitting on the back of an alligator. We also tried to add a unique texture to it.

How soon can community members expect to see the bench on campus?

It should be here by this Friday, so very soon.

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  • Avery Alperin ’21, Marianne Alagos ’21, Katarina Klacko ’21, and Betty Wang ’21 pose with their wooden alligator.

  • Avery Alperin ’21 works on her 12th Grade Project.

  • Marianne Alagos ’21 and Kat Klacko ’21 work in the studio at Artists for Humanity.

  • Students show off a painted piece of their creation.

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The bench arrived on campus one day earlier than expected on Thursday. Students posed for photos with the bench on the field during lunch Thursday.