Students at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy worked hard and long to prepare 24,000 donated bottles of water for a giant sculpture assembled in the basement of the Fort Worth Center for the Arts.
Together with New Jersey artist Willie Cole, the students made the pile of bottles that had to be prepared smaller and smaller. Using heat guns, students punched holes in the bottoms of the bottles, preparing them to be strung together with wire in the next phase of the Tarrant County Education Foundation’s art project.
Cole, who arrived in Fort Worth on Oct. 23, taught the students how to prepare the bottles. The project is expected to be completed by March 2024 and be on display at the Community Center for the Arts by the end of that month.
Dr. Arlene Barnett, the co-founder of the Tarrant County Education Foundation, had one goal: introduce students to alternative career paths.
Cole’s next visit to Fort Worth will be in March 2024, Barnett said. By then, the students will have prepared the water bottles, strung them together with wire into sheets, and will be ready to finally construct the sculpture.
Cole has made water bottle sculptures in the past, both on his own and with local students in New Jersey.
“It’s monotonous work. I can see how it could be boring. I’m usually in front of the TV when I’m making bottles,” Cole said. “We need (students) to be stable to make this project happen.”
Christian Argueta Soto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him via Email or through Twitter. At Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.
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