Jefferson Elementary Students ‘Tackle’ Public Art with New ‘Traveling School of Fish” Installation at the Franklin Sculpture Park.

 ‘Traveling School of Fish” Installation at the Franklin Sculpture Park.

On June 7, 2023, Jefferson students, family, staff and the greater Franklin community gathered for a rededication ceremony at the Franklin Sculpture Park. The park first opened in 2014, the installation “The School of Fish”, previously donated by the (now closed) Franklin Art Center, had appeared weathered due to time. 

Seeing an opportunity to refresh the installation and involve the community, local artist and Jefferson parent, Amy Adams partnered with Franklin Public Schools Art Director, Adam Gooder, Jefferson Art Teacher Caroline Whelan, Jefferson Principal Stefani Wasik and Town Administrator Jamie Hellen to re-imagine the installation.

Adams worked to clear and prepare each individual fish, Jefferson staff then worked with students to create the new art. The refreshed installation, retitled “Traveling School of Fish”, will be updated yearly by new students within the district. During the dedication, Adams spoke with the students and encouraged “all of the little artists here to keep shining your lights. They are beautiful and bright.”

This new initiative aims to nurture the artistic talents of our youth, while showcasing their work with the greater Franklin community through public art. FPS Art Director Gooder notes, “Any time students of any age get a chance to show their work publicly, it motivates them to do their best. Art is meant to be seen; this initiative gives students an opportunity to see how people react and how their artistic voice can make a positive impact on others.” 

The “Traveling School of Fish” installation is available to the public at the Franklin Sculpture Park on Panther Way in Franklin, MA next to the Franklin Police Station.