8th-grader's art on display in Carnegie Museum
A Mt. Lebanon student's artwork is in the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland. It is part of a Christmas tree display in the Hall of Architecture.
Mellon Middle School eighth-grader Elena Redmond spent much of her first semester of school making a 2-foot-tall, foam-and-wood replica of the Fort Pitt Blockhouse for the display, which highlights centuries of architecture and innovation at the World's Fairs.
“I thought there were a lot of adults who could have (made the replica) who were artists, but then I thought, ‘Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had one of our students do it?” said Sarah Cannon, a member of the Pittsburgh Daughters of the American Revolution and board member of the Fort Pitt Society.
She and Mernie Berger of the Carnegie Women's Committee reached out to Cannon's daughter, school board member Josephine Posti, who in turn talked to art teachers and found Elena Redmond.
“I took probably two periods every day to work on it — my break period, my art class, many lunches, and lots of time before and after school,” said Redmond, 14. “We were still working on it for the four seconds just before we took it to Mrs. Berger.”
The Blockhouse — or rather, a full-scale replica of it — was represented in the 1926 Sesquicentennial Fair in Philadelphia as part of the Pittsburgh display.
Working from photographs, brochures and field notes taken by the DAR, Redmond built her own replica from a wooden frame, walls and bricks made of foam board, stones made from hot glue and shingles made from thin strips of balsa wood.
She cut each brick from foam board and painted them to give them a brick-like texture, and she shaped each stone of the foundation from hot glue, despite a balky glue gun.
“I have so many burns from the hot glue,” Redmond said.
To make sure the proportions were right for the pentagonal building, she and Mellon art teacher Phil Hessler took photos for a math teacher, who helped them devise the proper scale and measurements.
After turning the replica over to Berger and the museum, Redmond got to attend the grand opening party for the exhibit in the Hall of Architecture: Seven trees, each standing over 20 feet tall and decorated with a different World's Fair theme, as part of the Carnegie's ongoing exhibit, “Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939.”
“It was kind of intimidating, especially when I don't think I'd seen my artwork displayed outside of school before,” Redmond said. “It was pretty crazy ... I plan to go back after the Christmas break with my dad.”
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or email@example.com.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kennywood fanatic, 82, rides Jack Rabbit 95 times in a row
- Neighbor arrested after McKeesport house fire, authorities say
- Memorial Day service in National Cemetery of the Alleghenies still growing
- Early success in White House race a pleasant surprise for Carson
- Pa. gaming industry’s growth amplifies siren call for addicts
- 4 dogs found dead in Beechview home; woman charged
- Newsmaker: Rich Jones
- Journalist Burzynski found place in public relations, military
- Man shot while driving through Liberty Tunnel
- Lowly job likely awaits former Pittsburgh police chief after prison
- Thrill of the chase: Kennywood fanatic, 82, rides Jack Rabbit 95 times in a row