Tates Creek students get hands-on art experience

Soon, Tates Creek High School will be the site of a new school.

A school of fish, that is.

The new wall sculpture will be installed this weekend near the main entrance to the school to culminate months of hard work by staff members, students, a local artist and a few Lexington employers.

The project began last summer, when Tates Creek librarian Jennifer Prall and her husband, Jimmy, a supervisor at Shepherd Communications, hatched a plan with Lexington sculptor Gerry Masse to get students involved in making a sculpture with his mobile metal foundry. Jimmy Prall raised the $5,000 needed for the project — $3,000 from his employer, Eric Shepherd; $1,000 from Insight Communications; and the rest from Tates Creek's PTSA, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at Tates Creek, the Pralls and two other school employees, Cindy Brookes and Kristen Tabor. Jennifer Prall recruited humanities teacher Mary Anne Embry to help come up with an idea for a theme for the sculpture and to sell the idea to her students.

Early this month, students worked with Masse to carve 100 of the sand molds that were later filled with molten aluminum to make the tiles that would be assembled to make the wall sculpture.

Masse is putting the finishing touches on the sculpture, expected to be installed Saturday.