For the class of 2022’s capstone project, we have decided on creating a data art stain glass sculpture that represents both the ethnic and artistic diversity of our beloved city. Harrisonburg is a thriving, diverse community that is heavily dependent on art. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that community has begun to shrink because of social distancing, quarantining, and a many number of things. The decrease in events has inspired us to highlight the importance of the arts in a sculpture that will revive Harrisonburg’s artistic spirit, and capture the melting pot of this city. We knew that the best way to collect this data needed to be somewhere where all students are welcomed and celebrated. For the reason of honoring and wanting to display Harrisonburg’s diversity in the arts, we focused our lens on the upcoming generation of artists through Harrisonburg High School students.
We knew why we wanted to do our capstone, but we were not sure on how or what our project would become. We soon rediscovered the concept of data art collection. Data art collection or Informatism is the idea of using statistical data to create a related piece of art. The questionnaire asked students about how they are involved in the arts, and how art has affected/or influenced their lives. We want to ask questions through a survey to those who feel that they are connected with any form of art. In order to display our findings, we designed three stained glass panels, each one representing different parts of our collected data. The three panels will be displayed in a vertical way, one on top of the other. Each panel will be made up of two pieces of clear glass with stained glass squares in between to represent the data we have collected.
Our sculpture will be placed by the current Sentara Sleep Center. The Sleep Center has recently been rented by HCPS, and it will be used as a welcome center for new coming families and students. As a place that will be welcoming people whose native language is not English, and/or comes from a different culture, we want to promote inclusivity, and give every family that comes through the Welcome Center a sense of belonging. Everyone in our group has had specific roles to help speed along our process and to be more efficient. Some of the roles include data collecting, budget work, design, making a website, etc. We will collect data from HHS students and incorporate it into our art. This will help the capstone truly reflect on the arts in the schools. Though our idea is simplistic in aesthetics, it will have strong ties to the arts in the younger generations. It is a way for the students to contribute and inspire future students to express themselves through art, community and culture.