On May 22, the Manassas City Council honored sculpture students in the Communications and Humanities Department at the Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College for their artwork displayed throughout the city’s historic downtown area.
In October 2015, the Manassas Ad Hoc Arts committee began working with NOVA-Woodbridge Assistant Professor of Studio Art Zachary Jackson and 18 students from his ART 134: Fundamentals of Design 2 and ART: 231 Sculpture courses. NOVA students Sarah Fischer, Paige Fischer, Alex Dorney, Frank Chavez, Christian Gallick, Harry Mayer, Jessica Morlaes, Andrea Rivera, Audrey D’Agostino, Hunter Knight, Jose Reyes, Jose Garcia, Matin Kordnavashi, Iris Padilla, Brandon Mei, John Orstead, Chase Portell and Bahar Omar created artistic designs to be shown for a year in selected sites throughout the City of Manassas.
Jackson said the Manassas City sculpture project first began as a Fall semester final project for his students. He was contacted two years ago by City of Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick Small and Communications Manager Patty Prince to participate in the Manassas First Friday Gallery Walk as an ongoing initiative by the City to encourage art and artistic expression. Each student was required to submit drawn proposals to the Arts committee for review. With Jackson’s input and oversight, students had complete creative control of their designs and used several materials such as concrete, wood, steel, plastic as well as recycled supplies to construct realistic artwork.
“It was really an amazing honor to be recognized by the City of Manassas,” Jackson said. “It is even more important for our students, since there are not as many opportunities in the area for them to showcase their work on such a large scale. Many art students struggle with gaining confidence, but this project helped my students to realize their own comfort level. Once the student’s sculptures were installed, I noticed they gained a level of confidence and pride in their work.”
Out of the 18 students recognized by the Manassas City Council, two are NOVA Spring graduates with plans to transfer to a four-year university in the Fall. Harry Mayer will attend George Mason University to pursue a bachelor degree in sculpture and Frank Chavez will be studying painting and printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.