This school year marks a very prolific time for School of the Holy Child.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
This school year marks a very prolific time for School of the Holy Child. With the construction of a new field house for athletics and dance, a new design studio for architecture and engineering, and a state-of-the-art theater, the school grounds are pulsating. Exemplifying this vibrant period in the school’s history is a new sculpture, Spirit, created by the Holy Child community.
In the words of Director of Arts Kimberly Calhoun, “The sculpture captures the spirit of the school and of our young women. It was so exciting to see them sculpting this sizable piece of stone, which will have a lasting presence on campus. This project may be, for some, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Calhoun is quick to point out that it was Holy Child’s Artist in Residence, Satish Joshi, who was the mastermind behind Spirit. Joshi, a faculty member since 2011, remarked, “I was inspired by the spirit of the school and I envisioned creating a figure with gestures of moving forward and upward.”
A few years ago, Joshi’s miniature mock model set the wheels in motion. Parents Anna and Marco Berardi, whose daughter Julia graduated last June, donated the limestone and granite base.
“It is such an honor for our family to have contributed to this work of art created by Holy Child’s vision,” said Anna Berardi. “It’s exciting for all of us, especially Julia, to be part of this permanent feature on campus.”
The bulk of the work on the slab was done last summer. Under Joshi’s supervision, Upper School students, as well as families, alumnae, faculty, and staff, transformed “a cold piece of stone into a moving form,” to use the artist’s words.
The process was documented by art teacher Shannon Duggan, who was instrumental in getting students involved. Photographs along the school corridors capture the entire experience, from the day the limestone was delivered to the carving, grinding wheel scoring, chiseling, and sanding.
“Everybody was excited to be a part of something important,” recalled Joshi. “The girls surprised me. I was blown away by their determination and energy level. They never missed a day during a very hot summer.”
Calhoun, whom Joshi calls “the spirit behind the art department,” embraces the role of helping students see the possibilities that exist and offering them the opportunity to create. “This project has certainly done this,” she noted. “Spirit is a symbol for our community that helps students see beyond themselves.”
The 7-foot-high sculpture now stands in a prominent place at the school’s gateway. Head of School William C. Hambleton remarked, “The project is yet another testament to the talent and creativity that our students demonstrate every day. For years to come, the sculpture will speak volumes about the school’s devotion to the arts.”