My name is Bill Mathes, an art educator at C.C.A. Baldi Middle School within the Philadelphia School District. I began a comprehensive sculpture and mural program, in addition to my regular classes about three years ago. We have a very spacious atrium in the middle of school that has been turned into a sculpture and arts garden. Last year the theme 'Baldi Park' ( a dinosaur theme) and we created a 21' long long (1:2 scale) T-Rex, 23' tall Brachiosaurus, 15' long Triceratops and 8' long Velociraptor which were donated to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in May 2015. That year we also made a 16' tall Optimus Prime Transformers sculpture. This academic year's theme is, "I love the 1980's & 90's" and we made a life-size Jabba the Hutt and C3PO sculpture, and Ursula the sea witch sculpture and are currently working an accompanying Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder sculpture. My students also have been working on an ongoing mural in our school's library. We have been covered three times by the media: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/Packing-tape_sculptures_bring_dinosaurs_come_to_life_at_Northeast_middle_school.html
My vision is to keep our Atrium area, which we lovingly refer to as the "Commons", to be a blank canvas every September for the students to create their own environment. The old sculptures will hopefully be donated or moved to another part of our wonderful school. This ongoing project, I believe, embodies the concept that Walt Disney had for his parks— to be an ever growing and evolving and living project that should never be finished.
Funded by Philadelphia, PA (May 2016)