The Eagle Nation on Parade has begun to make stops at area schools.
The 6-foot-tall Eagle Nation in Education fiberglass sculpture arrived at Julia P. Bryant Elementary at about 9:30 a.m Monday anchored to a trailer behind the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art van.
As the sculpture pulled to the front of the school hundreds of pupils cheered, waiving handmade banners that depicted slogans such as “Bring the eagle to OUR HOUSE” and “We love our Eagles and Art.”
“This is what Eagle Nation in Education is all about,” said Patricia Carter, the chairwoman of the Department of Art. “Art is so important for students: It helps them develop spatial and reasoning skills, determine the best way to solve problems and consider things from different points of view. Eagle Nation in Education gives them a real-world example on which to base these skills, and they are excited about the chance to have a permanent eagle of their very own.”
Julia P. is among 12 area schools to participate in the Eagle Nation in Education initiative of Eagle Nation on Parade. Stilson Elementary, Bulloch Academy, Sally Zetterower Elementary, William James Middle, Mill Creek Elementary and Langston Chapel Elementary schools already have hosted the sculpture. A second blank sculpture is at Statesboro High this week, and the eagles will continue on to Portal Elementary, Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology, Portal Middle High and Southeast Bulloch Middle schools in the coming weeks.
The Eagle Nation in Education initiative began in September with the blank Eagle Nation on Parade eagle nesting at each registered school for about a week. While the sculpture is at the school, art teachers instruct the students on public art and provide them with examples from Eagle Nation on Parade and other national public exhibitions. The students create their own Eagle Nation on Parade design, which will be submitted for official consideration in November. The winning Eagle Nation in Education design will be chosen by a panel of experts outside the university, and the winning student will work with a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art to complete his or her design, which will then be installed at his or her school. Participation in the project is free for the schools.
“Eagle Nation in Education is our chance to share this project with Statesboro’s youth,” Carter said. “The community has been so supportive of the University and the Eagle Nation on Parade project; we are thrilled to partner with the schools and can’t wait to see all the students’ creative solutions.”
Presented by Georgia Southern University, Eagle Nation on Parade is a public art project that salutes the university’s traditions, celebrates the unity of campus and community, contributes to the economic vitality and quality of life in Statesboro, and supports student scholarships and research. Now in its second year, Eagle Nation on Parade aims to install 50 custom-designed 6-foot-tall fiberglass eagle sculptures throughout Statesboro and the surrounding communities by the project’s end.
Eagles already are on display at Heritage Bank of the South on South Main Street, the junction of East Main Street and Savannah Avenue, the university campus and several other locations around Statesboro.