The tarps came off the "Warrior Within" sculpture on Friday. Wasilla High School principal Amy Spargo said it had already been scheduled to be uncovered for parent-teacher conferences this week, but the artists said that was news to them.
A Percent for Art sculpture at Wasilla High School has been ordered covered by the principal after some in the school community opined that parts of it resemble female genitalia. The principal, Amy Spargo, told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman that she doesn't intend to be an art censor; she's more worried that the $100,000 piece will be vandalized. Still, she plans to form a committee of students, parents and school staff to review the work, which was pre-approved by a Percent for Art committee and the school district.
Says Spargo: "There was quite an outcry from parents who were hearing what kids were saying (about the sculpture). My concern was the piece would be damaged. Clearly, we needed to do some education. There was such a disconnect from the piece and the (school), I just wanted to re-engage the public process."
Spargo wouldn't rule out the possibility of having the sculpture permanently removed from the school grounds. The artists, Jim Dault and Shala Dobson, Valley residents who have have had nine previous works installed under the Percent for Art program, say the piece needs to be seen up close to be understood and appreciated. It plays off the Wasilla Warriors school mascot and is dedicated to the "warrior spirit."
"Emerging from the powerful stone form are two warrior shields encircled by glowing feathers," the description says. ... "The bronze shield has a hand impression showing ‘good deeds.' The aluminum shield has a flame symbol representing the ‘spark of inspiration.' The stone form represents the strong material from which a warrior is made."
"We poured our heart and soul into that piece, worked on it for nine months," Dault told The Frontiersman. "We are proud, and I think there needs to be some time spent with it, as with any piece of art."