0

Students create sculpture garden with old phones

Special Photo The city of Norcross hosts a ribbon cutting for its new sculture garden on Sunday, which was created by GSMST students.

Special Photo The city of Norcross hosts a ribbon cutting for its new sculture garden on Sunday, which was created by GSMST students.

NORCROSS -- Heritage Park has an updated, yet vintage look.

During the month of December, students from Gwinnett School of Math Science & Technology -- with the help of the city of Norcross, members of Sustainable Norcross and the Norcross Arts Alliance -- installed a sculpture garden called "Talk Talk Talk."

On Sunday, the group hosts its ribbon cutting for the addition from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Norcross Art Center.

"The city had funds allocated for public art, and we thought a perfect spot for that would be in Heritage Park in front of the Norcross Arts Center and the Community Center," Norcross City Council member Charlie Riehm said. "This site would both add interest to the park and help draw more visitors to the arts center."

Instead of building traditional works of art, the students worked with local artist and exhibit curator Lori Sturgess to utilize old telephones for the construction of the pieces.

The theme is "whimsical sculptures with salvaged phones as the base on which were built various themes based on ideas the students came up with," according to Sturgess.

"Insight into the creativity of student artists here in Norcross and a unique display of public art," she said about what the community would get from the garden. "The idea is that communication technology is constantly changing and what was once the primary way we talked is now replaced with text, mobile and QR technology."

The 15 pieces incorporate recycled telephone handsets salvaged from the city's old maintenance barn when it was demolished. The public can use QR codes to link to details about each piece, which includes photos of the original renderings and the names of the students who designed them.

"Talk Talk Talk" will be a permanent fixture in at Heritage Park, with room to expand.

"It can stay there and be added to on a yearly basis," Sturgess said. "I have loads of other phones and more ideas that we did not have time to finish."

The art center is located at 17 College St. in Norcross.