UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 05 Fall 16 Library
Photo Credit: William H. Bennett
Studio Art & Archaeology

Unearthing Art

Explore in Depth...

You can call this the gift that keeps giving…for 30 years. The Studio Art Department recently celebrated the launch of a unique project that will combine art and archaeology and give local elementary school students a chance to discover art for decades to come. The brainchild of UVA alumnus Evan Howell (Architecture, ‘09), the UnearthED Sculpture Project brought together art students and faculty to create a 10-foot-tall sculpture that is now buried on the grounds of Baker-Butler Elementary and will be slowly excavated by students there each year. The project was led by Bill Bennett, an Associate Professor of sculpture, who spoke about it at a ceremony attended by more than 600 students last spring. “Art is a gift,” Bennett said. “It’s a gift to make it, and it’s a gift to give it away.” The piece, entitled “Waterfall of Stones,” was designed by recent UVA graduate Nick Watson (College, ‘15) and features stones from the site of the school framed by steel on either side. The subterranean portion of the sculpture is surrounded by some 1,500 pieces of student-created ceramic art that will be discovered by students each year with assistance from the UVA Program in Archaeology. “It’s a living sculpture,” Baker-Butler principal Steve Saunders said. “It’s not just something you look at, but something to learn from.”

(Photo: Belinda Cyckevic Gordon)
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