Midland University - Fremont, Ne

MU Art Major Creates Bench for Community Project

MU Art Major Creates Bench for Community Project

Oct 7th , 2010

In Chicago, they had the cows. In Omaha, it was “the big O!” Fremont has had fish. For 2011, benches are the community arts theme for the Fremont Arts Association and Midland University senior Sara O’Reilly is excited to be a part of it.

All members of Midland’s intermediate sculpture class, along with other local artists, were asked to submit designs for the community project dubbed “Benchmark for the Arts.” Midland University is one of the project sponsors. One of O’Reilly’s sketches was chosen to be recreated as a four-foot tall, five-foot wide, three-dimensional bench.

O’Reilly’s final sketch was inspired by the transfer student’s Drawing classes at Dana College. “Drapery reminds me of Drawing class, so I wanted to be able to incorporate one of the most basic drawing exercises into a sculpture,” O’Reilly said. The bench appears to be draped with a large cloth and also will feature a pillow “for added comfort.”

“I wanted to make it look comfortable,” she said. “I wanted to create something inviting and friendly, but artistic in its own way.”

The benches are not only meant to be artwork; they are also expected to be functional. Design requirements said it had be a bench that at least one person could sit on, and it has to be able to be outside.

Now that O’Reilly’s piece has been chosen, her classmates are working with her to create a miniature model of the bench which will be completed for display at Gallery 92 West in Fremont in time for the Annual Christmas Walk. “They are helping me make my design better.”

According to the association’s web site, “Benchmark for the Arts is dedicated to raising awareness for the vibrant arts community within the Fremont area through a year-long series of family friendly events designed to bring the Fremont community closer together.”

The 12-month project will culminate with custom decorated benches created by local artists placed throughout Fremont during the summer of 2011.  At the conclusion of the project, all benches will be auctioned with profits being distributed to needs within the Fremont Area Art Association and the Parks and Recreation Department.

O’Reilly is an art education major from Turin, Iowa.


Photo Credit: Jade Ricker