DANVILLE — After more than a decade, retiring art teacher Sandy Bruce has finally run out of wall space at Liberty Valley Intermediate School. That’s why her students’ final piece will be on the ceiling.
Bruce, who has been with the school district since 1987, has spent her last eleven years organizing legacy projects for Liberty Valley’s outgoing fifth-grade classes. These projects stay within the school to beautify it and as a memento of that class. This year’s project, Bruce’s final for the school, consisted of painting concentric circles on the art room’s ceiling tiles.
Eighteen squares were painted on each ceiling tile, with each student painting nine squares. In total, 96 tiles were painted, 191 by the fifth-grade class and one by Bruce. The students started the project at the beginning of March and painted the tiles after they were temporarily removed from the ceiling. “The fifth-grade class and I consider it our legacy,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve contributed to a legacy project.”
Previous legacy projects have included creating stained glass windows and outdoor sculptures. “I carefully choose a project I know all kids can do, regardless of capability or limitation,” said Bruce.
The entire purpose of the legacy project is “to show children they can leave their mark in life, to be appreciated by others, and its something they can be proud of,” she said. “I’m so grateful the administration recognizes the importance of the art and has supported me in every legacy project. For that, I’m thankful.”
The latest project was inspired by the works of Russian abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky. “He’s one of my favorites,” said Bruce. Like many of Bruce’s favorite artists, Kandinsky came to art later in life after exploring an earlier profession. In Kandinsky’s case, he started as a psychologist. “He had a fascination with shape and color,” said Bruce.