Soothing waters flow over symbolic bronze panels. Fanciful creatures live in harmony on ceramic tiles representing earth, water and sky. Intricate mosaic benches with ribbons of color invite rest and reflection.
Current and former staff, parents, students and friends gathered on May 27 for the dedication of Sandra’s Space, a sculpture garden created to honor Dr. Sandra Adams, who worked at Summit for 41 years and served as Head of the School from 1990 until her retirement last year.
The magnificent space was the result of a year of planning and the extraordinary collaboration and vision of three artists with Summit connections. Alumnus and sculptor Duncan Lewis ‘69, created a cast bas-relief bronze water wall containing an eclectic collection of symbols, which students will be encouraged to research and identify. In honor of Sandra’s many years as a Latin teacher, an inscription reads- “Scientia Pluit- Fluit Sapientia,” in translation, “Knowledge Rains- Wisdom Flows.”
Flanking either side are ceramic tile panels designed by Summit pottery specialist Barbara Eure. Prehistoric creatures share the earth, sea and sky with more familiar animals often spotted on the School campus. Monica Weber, Summit parent and mosaic artist, created two benches with flowing lines and strokes of color. She incorporated 36,000 small tiles using the double-direct method in which individual tiles were applied to fiberglass mesh and then adhered to the surface in sections. Monica’s first mosaic project was the Stinnett River in the playground for young children.
“One of Sandra’s greatest strengths was her ability to bring groups together for collaborative work,” said Tom Moore, immediate Past President of Summit’s Board of Trustees. “This beautiful sculpture garden is an example of collaboration at its best and it will bring people together for conversations, partnership, teamwork, and cooperation in the future. Sandra’s Space also brings the visual arts to the front of the school, highlighting Summit’s constant dedication to the arts.”
Surrounded by her family and friends, Sandra said, “I must be the luckiest person in the world to be in a place that represents what I love best at the School that nurtured me. To think, my grandchildren can come to visit this place that their grandmother loved so dearly.”
In 2008, Governor Mike Easley awarded Sandra The Order of the Long Leaf Pine in recognition of her extraordinary service to the state, the community and to Summit School.
Sandra’s Space is nestled in the space between the TLC and the Main Building near the driveway. If you haven’t seen it, take a moment to stop by. Sit and reflect upon the past and dream of the future.
Read more about the artists’ work and the design process in the summer issue of Summit News. Click here to view photos of the construction and the dedication.