Friday, November 17, 2006

Teacher donates sculpture to local school

School, students and local artist thrilled with donation

Express Staff Writer

The Community School in Sun Valley celebrated the arrival of a new sculpture on campus Wednesday. The sculpture, created by local artist Rod Kagan and donated by longtime Community School associate Bob Brock and his wife, Nina Steffens, is a fitting symbol of balance and solidarity for the private school.

In front of a hardy group of students, parents, teachers and local citizens, Headmaster Andy Jones-Wilkins expressed his appreciation to both the artist and donors for providing a symbol of "the new breeze blowing through The Community School."

"Balance has been our theme all year," and the rusted steel pyramid balancing on a three-dimensional triangle certainly seems a fitting symbol, he suggested.

The sculpture, titled "Tri-Point III," was created in 1984 and is one of three identical pieces created by Kagan.

"I am thrilled," said Kagan. "It is nice to have one of the pieces stay in the town where I built it."

The first sculpture was created in 1981 and is now located in Beverly Hills, Calif.

For the past 23 years, Brock has been a fixture at The Community School, working as a teacher, coach, and college counselor. "What a wonderful setting for a sculpture," Brock said.

The donation is the culmination of Brock's devotion to education and his wife's affinity for landscape design. Steffens is a professional landscape designer with deep roots in the Wood River Valley.

"Bob (Brock) symbolizes the balance between having a good time outside of school and working hard in school," junior Caroline Fairchild said. "He is such an inspiration to all of us, and the sculpture is nice."

"The sculpture itself is symbolic, embodying the balance between the architecture of the new school building and the environment of the Trail Creek campus," Brock said.

And it is also a matter of perception.

"The sculpture is many faceted, in some ways permanent, in other ways changing. It looks different when one arrives on campus and different when one leaves."

It's a fitting parallel, perhaps, to the lives of the many students Brock changed through his teaching and compassion over the years.

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