School and Industry Collaboration Garners Awards at Gibsonburg Sculpture in the Village

Posted Jun 21st, 2018 by David Saygers  Category: Arts & Entertainment


TOLEDO, OH – Sculptures created by Toledo School for the Arts students were among the winners this past weekend at Sculpture in the Village in Gibsonburg, OH.

TSA students Zach Garn, Shane Hackett, Treyvon Johnson, and Olivia Parr created sculptures in collaboration with QSI Fabrication Inc., a Grand Rapids, OH steel fabrication and material handling company that provides custom returnable packaging solutions.

The sculptures were the culmination of several months of planning and designing, followed by construction on Saturdays spent at the QSI plant. The students worked alongside owner Tom Zitzelberger and employee Joel Washing, who mentored them as they designed and built their sculptures. The students had the opportunity to learn welding and other processes as they worked through the challenges of bringing their designs to life.

The Gibsonburg Sculpture Park is in its 14th season, under the leadership of longtime Toledo-area sculptor Jim Havens. Mr. Zitzelberger explained that Mr. Havens taught welding at Owens Community College for many years, having students create sculptures as a way to learn many of the skills needed in welding. Adding a creative twist to the learning process “made learning the welding techniques more effective… all the complexities of creating a sculpture got students through all the techniques you would use,” said Mr. Zitzelberger, who also has two sculptures in the Gibsonburg Park. That was an idea that found its way into the collaboration between QSI and TSA.

In addition to the time and facilities donated by QSI, materials for the students’ sculptures were also donated by ALRO Steel, sponsor of the award-winning work of TSA student Treyvon Johnson.
The hands-on approach was very effective for Johnson, and students Shane Hackett and Zach Garn, who along with several TSA teachers, spent eight Saturdays in a row at QSI, building their pieces under the tutelage of Mr. Washing. “At every step of the process there is a myriad of skills to be learned that will hopefully translate into the students’ educational and professional careers,” explained Mr. Washing. Student Shane Hackett clearly agreed, hoping to continue working informally at QSI Inc., building on the skills he’s already learned.

Treyvon Johnson, a sophomore at TSA, won the People’s Choice Award for his sculpture, “Cubism.” Sophomore Shane Hackett won the Gibsonburg Community Development Award. Joel Washing also won the Toledo Sculptors Guild Award. The sculptures will be on display for the next year in Williams Park, located near downtown Gibsonburg and open to the public from dawn until dusk.

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David Saygers

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