Monday, January 9, 2012

Pipe Dreams

Annabelle's girl scout troop still meets at their old elementary school, Tomahawk Elementary. While waiting out in the hall to pick Annabelle up from her meeting, I browsed several displays of art work taped to the walls. There was a rash of snowmen, painted white on construction paper, which is what you expect to see in a grade school in January. But the most interesting thing I saw was an assignment on drawing pipes. As in plumbing, not smoking. Each kid had used charcoal to draw a jumble of pipes. But the pipes must have been in some basement or boiler room or out of the way place, because a few of them were being visited by a rat. A few of them had cobwebs and spiders. And uh-oh! --quite a lot of them were sprouting leaks!

 I was completely won over by those pipes, and imagined them on exhibit in a gallery, written up in the following review:

In their show, "Beyond the Clog," part of their Industrial Water Pipe series, the 5th graders of Tomahawk Elementary, Shawnee Mission School District USD #512, reveal a preoccupation with two resonant themes: flow and pressure. Their serpentine charcoal forms signal an uneasy relationship between human needs and crumbling infrastructures, signaling dire implications for public schools and their shaky futures. A repeated pattern of intersecting and overlapping pipes echo the convoluted quests for meaning that underlie our societal bargains. The stark blacks and grays are eerily illuminated by naive scribbles of white chalk, which serve to insert haunting emblems of trouble and urban decay: spiders, rodents, and leaks. On display on the northeast wall outside the cafeteria until spring break, or until custodian Lois gets it in her head the wall needs a good wash. 


  1. how happy i am to come here every day and read your blog! you seem to be on a real roll......and when i read the new post of the day, the words "monies world" come to mind.

  2. Thanks for reading. Hee hee --Mony's world.