Professor Russell Rudzinski traveled to the southeast Delta region of Arkansas earlier this month to instruct Architecture in the Classroom sessions at Lakeside Middle School in Lake Village and at Dumas Junior High School in nearby Dumas.
On this same visit, Rudzinski also led Art in Architecture, an educational event hosted by the Alex Foundation and Guachoya Cultural Art Center at the art center in Lake Village, Ark. Rudzinski is a clinical assistant professor of architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Over four days, Rudzinski instructed the Architecture in the Classroom sessions at Lakeside Middle School for the Alex Foundation’s Gaining STE+AM, Architecture in the Classroom Initiative. About 80 students attended these sessions. Funded by the Windgate Charitable Foundation, STE+AM represents science, technology, engineering, art – plus architecture and math.
Angela Carpenter, a visiting assistant professor of architecture in the Fay Jones School, and Rudzinski presented Technology in Architecture one day at Lakeside Middle School. The other three days, Rudzinski presented History in Architecture, Science in Architecture and Art in Architecture. Carpenter also joined Rudzinski for the Art in Architecture event at the art center.
As part of Art in Architecture, Alyssa Bodine, the art teacher from Lakeside High School in Lake Village, and students from her class were on hand with architectural art projects they recently created. Bodine, a Teach for America alumna, explained the variations of the students’ projects.
“Students’ designs for their dream homes had to be three-dimensional models built to scale from a blueprint. There was no budget for this particular project, and students were ambitious with their creations,” Bodine said.
Dede Gibson, a former high school art teacher and Guachoya’s executive director, lauded Bodine for embedding art in the classroom with allied disciplines, such as architecture.
“As an art educator, it is always a pleasure to see students’ creativity in the context of authentic designs. This and other educationally enriched projects are the caliber of programming that is a fundamental priority for me as executive director,” Gibson said. “Partnering with the Alex Foundation has been an excellent start in expanding students’ art involvement, as well as increasing our public education programs at Guachoya.”
Gibson also commended the Art in Architecture theme presented by Rudzinski. “Professor Rudzinski’s remarks were a relevant link to art. He illuminated the connections that these academic specialties have with each other, noting distinct representations of their interdependency,” she said.
Established in 2010, the Alex Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, offers academic scholarship assistance and educational resources to students in the Arkansas Delta and Central Arkansas. For more information, visit www.alex-foundation.org.