The Mansfield School Committee voted 5-0 to approve the concept of an art space at the entrance of the Mansfield High School.
Scott Briganti, the department chair of the Mansfield High School visual arts department, proposed the venture because of comments he received during the spring arts festival, asking for a more permanent display.
“That planted a seed in the back of my head,” he said.
Briganti said he wants to make an addition to two alcoves on either side of the vestibule leading into the main entrance of MHS.
“They are basically repositories for blowing leaves in the fall and used for students to hang out while they’re waiting to be picked up,” he said.
Briganti said that the idea was cemented in his head when he visited a Rhode Island school and saw such a display.
“One of the things I was struck by was that they had a permanent space, a gallery if you will, to showcase their students’ work all year long,” he said. “It certainly instilled a lot of pride in what the students were doing. So I thought about the possibility of creating a space and came up with a mission statement that hopefully drives us to start thinking about a permanent display.”
Briganti said the started working out a few details on the project, and like many other art projects he has done over the years, he decided to include a student in the design process.
“I’m a strong believer in pulling in students,” he said. “We have an extraordinary young lady, Kelly Lee, in the visual arts program and in academics one the true stars of the school.”
Briganti said that Lee wants to go to school for architecture and he asked her for design help. She drew up several renderings.
“So with this project, I was basically hoping to raise the visibility of the arts in the community,” Lee said. “Hopefully, this project would integrate art into our increasingly diverse and culture-minded community.
Right now, funding for the project would be provided by outside sources, and Briganti said that, after design and building code compliance, would take about three years.
“We have a bold vision, we don’t know where it’s going to lead us,” he said.