A head-turning, contemporary piece of colorful artwork—comprised of stoneware and galvanized steel—recently popped up outside Border Star Montessori in Brookside. The piece was a collaborative creation between KCAI grad (and ceramics artist) Paul Storms and Paul Dorrell, president of Leopold Gallery + Art Consulting.
We recently touched base with Dorrell to find out the inspiration behind the piece and, more importantly, how it’s being used to raise monies for the school.
What was the genesis behind your recent installation?
“We felt the corner badly needed a sculpture—and the kids needed a project that they could feel a sense of ownership in. Most of the kids at Border Star come from working class families and are great students, so to me gestures like this go far in all urban schools.
The sculpture—entitled Square Pegs / Round Pegs—is about inclusiveness. We’re all made differently; but must learn to accept one another—something the current occupant of the White House doesn’t grasp.”
The students got to work alongside you, yes? What was their reaction?
“They loved it. You can see from photos of them in the studio that they were captivated and proud. Paul Storms and I have about 200 hours in the sculpture. The kids in total put in about 20 hours—but they feel like the put in 200. And that’s important part.”
What’s word on the street been since you unveiled the project?
“Absolute awe. All the Brookside merchants love it, as do the residents, as do the students. It’s meant as a grand gesture of play, color, and optimism—something we desperately need at this time.”
How can folks help the school?
“The school is in desperate financial straits, as are most KCMO schools at this time. Offers of assistance would be greatly appreciated and can be sent to Principal Blake Rhyne. He’s a great guy—and the school is need of a sponsor. I’m sure some loving soul in Kansas City can help.”