Squid Club learning connection wraps up second year

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The squid sculpture is housed in an out-of-the-way alcove in Ms. Keith-Ott’s art room so it isn’t bothered by other art students.

After seven months, many pounds of glue and paper, and several dozen bottle caps, the squid club learning connection is wrapping up its second year. The learning connection, headed by art teacher Ms. Keith-Ott, began last school year with the goal of creating a gigantic squid sculpture out of papier-mâché.

“I knew [teenagers] like randomness, it appeals to their sense of humor,” Keith-Ott said, “I thought, ‘squids are random and everyone likes squids, so let’s make one.’”

The process is lengthy and will continue into next year despite two years of work already under the club’s belt. The base of the squid is made from wire coat hangars and tomato cases, with foam pool noodles functioning as the tentacles. The base is then coated in papier-mâché.

The learning connection has accomplished a large mass of work despite being active only 30 minutes each week.

The next step for the club is to paint the sculpture and attach LED lights. Preparations also have to be made to ensure the sculpture’s security if it is moved out of the art room.

Namila Cadet, a member of squid club last semester, says that at times the club functioned more as a social gathering.

“Some people aren’t as artistic as others,” Cadet said “So [the club] had people who came to talk and chill and then people who came to work on the squid.”

But Keith-Ott doesn’t worry about this distraction.

“There’s always gonna be the kids who would rather be on their phones,” Keith-Ott said, “But because it’s very hands on and because [kids] can talk while they do it, [the project] replaces that.”

As the learning connection begins to wind down next year, Ms. Keith-Ott sees a future post-completion.

“The real goal is that I want people to be engaged with something they normally wouldn’t do otherwise,” Keith-Ott said “Who knows [about the future], we always have that time to fill.”

To learn more about the majestic squid, go here.

The squid's suction cups are constructed from used bottle caps and attached with tape and glue to the wire and papiêr maché frame.
The squid’s suction cups are constructed from used bottle caps and attached with tape and glue to the foam and papiêr-maché frame. Photos by Carter White