Students dig in to Exhibit Columbus

Hundreds of Columbus Signature Academy – Lincoln campus students dug in to assist the creation of an Exhibit Columbus installation, with full permission to get really dirty in their assigned tasks from their parents and teachers.

About 371 students, which is the entire study body, along with 25 parent chaperones, visited the site of the Miller Prize untitled installation by Frida Escobedo Studio at the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library Plaza to work in shifts all day Wednesday.

The students and parent volunteers were helping plant more than 3,000 plants, representing 33 species all native to Indiana, for the installation, which is transforming the library’s plaza into an elevated garden terrace “designed for exploration, improvisation, and play,” according to an Exhibit Columbus description.

“Using the rigid geometries of (I.M.) Pei’s design as a formal point of departure, interlocking metal curves form an organic puzzle-piece-like landscape that encourages conversation and relaxation. As native grasses and wildflowers change over time, the public too will adapt and discover new ways to experience this installation,” according to Exhibit Columbus’ description of the installation.

For the students, their new way to experience the installation was to haul mulch and plants, following a grid planting system set up by the studio designers as to where the plants were to be placed.

“They’re filthy,” laughed Principal Brett Findley as he watched the students dive into the project. And he was among those who got pretty dirty, too, while filling buckets of mulch for the students to carry to volunteers setting the plants in place.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.