Lincoln Elementary School, the Elmhurst Art Museum, and Elmhurst College all came together to create an art installation commemorating Lincoln’s 100-year anniversary.

Each of the approximately 600 students at Lincoln helped create the artwork, which is done as a tessellation, a mathematical artwork fashioned by repeating a shape in a checkered or mosaic pattern. The predominant shape chosen is a circle, representing a symbol of community.

Created by teaching artists Sarah Johnson and Anna Lentz, the piece portrays the individuality of the students and represents a sense of community. The long and narrow design allows it to be viewed in a hallway, and also moved in the event that Lincoln undergoes a renovation in the future.

The idea for the project began last winter when the Lincoln PTA contacted the Elmhurst Art Museum about commissioning a piece of contemporary art that reflected both the school’s anniversary and its place in the community.

Johnson and Lentz met with students and asked them to paint a circle thinking about something that brought them joy. Some predominant themes included music, nature, friends, and school.

Elmhurst College’s Learning and Success Academy (ELSA), a program for young adults with developmental disabilities, then helped prime the 600 circles and drilled holes in them, allowing the circles to be hung together.

Johnson and Lentz then transported all the circles to a barn in Dundee where they put them together in one cohesive piece.

The resulting colorful, three-dimensional piece can be viewed from a variety of angles and reflects not only the individuality of the students, but also the sense of individuals comprising a community.

The piece will be unveiled at Lincoln’s 100 Year Anniversary Open House on May 19 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Admission is free and the community is invited to attend.


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