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UNT art students bring new life to Lake Forest Village

UNT art students bring new life to Lake Forest Village

Figure Drawing Senior Mani Negarestan stands next to his sculpture "tsen-tainte" next to the lake of The Good Samaritan Society of Lake Forest Village. Negarestan's sculpture, made of wood and white paint, is an abstract representation of the movement and posture of a running horse's body.

UNT art students bring new life to Lake Forest Village
April 08
22:06 2017

UNT art students were honored in March at a reception for their sculpture displays at the Lake Forest Village retirement center.

The artists, Felicia Jordan, Mani Negarestan, Lauren Noorlag and Emily Sides, were chosen among the 20 students in UNT’s Studio Art and Sculpture program, led by assistant professor Alicia Eggert. Their four artworks were inspired by the Lake Forest Village campus and will be on display for approximately a year.

“We have a sculpture in existence on our campus and we have several residents who are artists,” said Laura Wells, director of resource development. “It just started with the idea [that] it would be really cool to involve students from UNT or have other sculptures on campus.”

Wells got in touch with Eggert, who eagerly agreed to the offer.

“I wanted to give my students an opportunity to working the public arts sphere because it’s a way artists can make a decent living after school,” Eggert said. “I wanted to give them the experience of working with a community to develop and fabricate something for a specific place.”

Each piece was voted on and critiqued by the residents and staff. Afterward, students came up the campus to install them in their desired locations.

The project has been ongoing since the fall semester.

“All this work was done for a class last fall,” Eggert said. “The fact that they’re taking time out of their classes this semester to come and set up the work made it really special.”

UNT sculpture students Emily Sides, Mani Negarestan, Felicia Jordan and Lauren Noorlag (left to right) stand after being recognized for their efforts in creating outdoor sculptures for the residents of The Good Samaritan Society of Lake Forest Village in Denton. The students each created an outdoor sculpture that helped to enhance The Good Samaritan campus. Katie Jenkins

Since the art has been on display, Wells says residents at the retirement home approach her all the time with questions about them.

“[A resident] said, ‘You have no idea what this means to me, just being able to interact with the students and inspire them in some way and see their pieces of art is so fulfilling to me,’” Wells said. “And that’s just one story. Every time I walk on this campus, they have questions.”

“Conifer,” created by sculpture senior Felicia Jordan, utilizes steel geometric shapes to imitate a pine cone.

While touring the campus, Jordan noticed an old pine tree that reminded her of something close to her own life.

“My mom has pine cone collections and it reminded me of that, so I [took back] like five of them and put them in my pocket,” Jordan said. “So just taking from the campus and giving back to it would be the ideal thing.”

Before the exhibit, Jordan came up to Lake Forest Village to put final touches on her installation. She said a whole group of residents gathered around her, simply to watch her work.

“A lot of the older ladies were welders in their younger days and they’re really fascinated with how art works and how the mind works,” Jordan said. “Their whole personality level and energy level has just been amazing.”

Sculpture senior Lauren Noorlag created “Peacock” as an interactive piece. It boasts a metal peacock with a steel plume and feathers, cans installed inside to be makeshift houses and feeders to inhabit birds from the surrounding area.

Residents have already spotted a couple of swallows curiously checking out the new digs.

“They love it,” Noorlag said. “When I auditioned my piece, they were really excited because there’s a bed and breakfast for birds out there. There’s already been bluejays and different types of birds up there.”

“Tsen-Tainte,” created by drawing and painting senior Mani Negarestan, utilized surrounding nature as inspiration.

The sculpture, made with plywood and painted in a vibrant white, stands on a hill near a small lake. Negarestan said he wanted it to be away from buildings, in a more natural setting.

“I was really inspired by horses and their movement, so that’s where I got my inspiration from,” Negarestan said. “That sense of energy and movement that makes it more abstract.”

Sculpture junior Emily Sides created “Folds,” a three-dimensional representation of geometric planes intersecting and creating a single geometric form.

Using black acrylic in lieu of her original vision of steel, Sides wanted a multidimensional quality to her work.

“I really just wanted a reflective quality piece so that whenever people walked by they saw themselves but yet still saw nature,” Sides said.

The artworks will continue to stay at the center, possibly rotating after another competition in the future.

“Our plan is for this to be an annual thing,” Wells said. “We really weren’t sure that this would come into fruition but it did. I’d love to see this grow and I’d love to see the community get involved.”

Featured Image: Drawing and painting senior Mani Negarestan stands next to his sculpture “Tsen-Tainte,” which sits next to the lake of The Good Samaritan Society of Lake Forest Village. Negarestan’s sculpture, made of wood and white paint, is an abstract representation of the movement and posture of a running horse’s body. Katie Jenkins

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