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BUILDING COMMUNITY • GIVING BACK

Cape Cod businesses team up with local high school students for a community art project. BY ROB DUCA

W

hen students from Sturgis East Charter Public School in Hyannis embarked on a project to reclaim a discarded sailboard and transform it into a work of art, the Cape Cod business community came together to turn their concept into a reality.

Coastal Engineering worked with the students, local artists and businesses, volunteering their time and expertise to produce a set of certified plans for a foundation that met building code standards. There were also numerous other contributions from local businesses and artists. A1A Steel of East Falmouth manufactured the sailboard’s support beam, Maffei Landscaping of Mashpee installed the sonotube before filling it with concrete, and Orleans sculptor Syd Ahlstrom gave the metal beam a sleek finish before leading the install process. “The local businesses love being part of something that is important to the community,” says Clare O’Connor, director of economic initiatives for the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. “They could not have been more gracious in donating their time. These local businesses are so invested because they want things done right. Everybody is thrilled with the result.” The sailboard is one of four pro bono projects that Coastal Engineering has undertaken in recent years. They also supplied design plans for the “Tides” sculpture off South Street in Hyannis, the “Whale” sculpture off Cove Road in Orleans, and the “Nature Frames” sculpture, which will soon be on display in front of the Barnstable Court Building in Barnstable Village. The sculptures are a part of the Creative Placemaking project, partially funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council Adams Arts Program, which is aimed at revitalizing communities, creating jobs, growing creative industries, and increasing engagement in cultural activities by Massachusetts residents and visitors. “We think it’s important to support the arts and cultural activities in the community,” says John Bologna, president and CEO of Coastal Engineering. “Engineers are not typically associated with art endeavors, but there is a lot of creativity in the kind of work that we do, so this is a good way to express that. I have artists in my family and I’ve always had an affinity toward the creative arts. Science and art are complementary; one is a function of the cerebral and analytical, while the other deals more in the realm of human emotions. But both come together quite nicely. So, when we have a chance to show our creative side by working with local artists on these community projects, we’re happy to do that. And these projects are a lot of fun.” Sturgis East students donated their time after school and on weekends to create the sailboard, working on the illustrations, painting, gluing and finishing touches. They collaborated with local artists Steve Swain of The Frying Pan Gallery in Wellfleet, Steven Kemp of Kemp Pottery in Orleans and artist Sarah Holl of West Yarmouth, under the guidance of Ann Forget, their art teacher. “Coastal Engineering gave us their time and knowledge, showing us how we can keep this sailboard from flying away,” Forget says. 52

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SPRING SUMMER 2017 / AT HOME ON CAPE COD

At Home on Cape Cod Spring-Summer 2017  
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