Seventh-Graders Create Wearable, Recycled Animal Sculptures


Nolan Su

A visual arts component of the Biomimicry Project.

Imagine where art, science, and English comes together to explore nature’s mysteries.

For the seventh grade, this became a reality through the Biomimicry Project, presented last Thursday in the Dining Commons.

With a focus on imitating life, students tackled the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and created wearable, kinetic animal sculptures from recycled materials.

Visual arts teacher Christie DeNizio, who helped guide students, the project resulted from collaborative work with science, art, and English classes.

“The seventh-grade art, English, and science teachers joined forces to look at nature from the perspectives of each respective discipline,” Middle School English Teacher Will Arndt said. “To round out the experience, our scholars composed poems inspired by and in tribute to the creatures featured in their art and science projects.”

Student Sylvie Stikoff ’28 sharing her groups project with exhibition guests. (Caleb Meranus )

Sylvie Sitkoff’s ’28  presentation focused on clean water and sanitation. Her group used lotus leaves and beaver dams to create their project.

“I enjoyed the freedom of the building process,” Sitkoff said.

This project was inspired by Bread and Puppet Theater in Vermont, Theo Jansen’s ‘Strandbeasts,’ and the animal puppets used in the Broadway musical, The Lion King, according to DeNizio.

Students learned about the role of recycling in art-making, how to construct three-dimensional shapes to build a more complex shape, how to make movable joints and or hinges, and how to spray paint,” DeNizio said. “It was wonderful to see the sculptures worn and in action at the exhibition.”