SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2008

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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a journey to the artists, origins and work of American craft Albert Paley working on the Animals Always portal gates for St. Louis Zoo, Courtesy of Paley Studios Ltd., Bruce Miller photograph. O and they decorate our bodies with ne of the oldest objects moving into new environments. costumes, jewelry, and other forms that we know was used by Experienced upon entering the St. of adornment. Working within craft humans is a small, handLouisZoo,Paley'sAnimals Always traditions of wood, fiber, glass, metal, held lamp carved out of portal is the largest zoo sculpture in and clay, the craft artist's gift to us stone. The lamp, discovered in a cave, the world, weighing 100 tons, and is the care taken to create the artireveals a series of decorative marks consisting of over 1,400 steel eleon its handle. Whoever crafted ments. Animals of all kinds— this important object cared zebras, giraffes, elephants, I went to zoos . . . and drew a lot not only about how well it penguins, and even a giant of animals. The challenge was functioned, but also about how salamander—grace the zoo's personalizing these animal designs. it looked. This tendency to pay entrance. When planning porattention to beauty as well as tals and gates, Paley makes —Albert Paley function is something shared drawings and scale models. facts and environments that enhance by all humans. Animals Always was so elaborate the routine, sacred, and ceremonial An important cultural role of the that the cardboard model alone took aspects of our lives. artist is to craft objects used in daily six months to create. Albert Paley works with metal. He life. These objects enhance family Artists working in metal create began creating jewelry, but eventually get-togethers, community festivals, many art forms that enhance daily turned to decorative arts and sculpand other forms of social bonding. life experience. The metal tea serture. Paley is known for his architecThroughout the world, life cycle celevices by artists John Prip and Christural embellishments, especially his tina Smith are part of a tradition of brations and other cultural traditions elaborate and beautifully crafted gates making vessels for the preparation feature artworks crafted by local artand portals. These artworks enhance and enjoyment of tea—a ritual experiists. Artists craft the ornamental feaor "make special" our experience of enced by people around the world. tures of our private and public places, " 22 schoolartsonline.com "

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