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  • Cushing

From Start to Finish: Penguin Globe Sculpture

Nestled between the impressive facades of Lee and Sanborn House and overlooking the campus below, a new work of art stands tall.

In the tradition of the School Girl Statue and the bronze statue outside the Watkins Field House, the penguin globe statue was brought to life through a collaboration between Cushing students and Bob Johnson, Chair of the Visual Arts department.

Keira Abbott ‘17, Arkadiy Baltser ’17, Allison Frechette ’18, Breton Lorway ‘17, Carina Ye ’18, and Wesley Zeng ‘19 were selected by Mr. Johnson to create the latest sculptural addition to Cushing. They began their planning in 2016. Once given the go-ahead for its construction, Mr. Johnson informed the students of the project’s parameters. From there, they hashed out the concept.

The team sought to illustrate the global diversity of our past and current Cushing community. A group of penguins supporting the earth on their shoulders became the symbol of this particular Cushing legacy.

Creating these sculptures requires active involvement on the part of the students. Each of the three penguins was cast from the maquette mold of the bronze penguin statue outside the Watkins Field House. Individual parts of the globe were cut out of copper and then covered in clay, which created the height and depth for the mountain ranges and valleys of each continent.

Collaboration with the Sincere Metal Works foundry in Chelsea, Mass., and patina applied by Mr. Johnson to tint the continents a green color were just a couple of the additional elements that brought the entire work together.

Mr. Johnson’s facilitation of these projects with student-artists is sure to leave a lasting on their lives and with each new piece woven into the fabric of our campus, Cushing continues to showcase its artistic heritage and strength. He believes that the alumni (and future alumni) who have worked on these sculptures should feel proud of their incredible accomplishment. “It’s something that they’ll never forget,” he said.

Photos courtesy of Sincere Metal Works.


Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.