Bradley gargoyles inspire high school art students

October 26, 2011

By Tim Belter ’13

The gargoyles on the new Hayden-Clark Alumni Center sit and watch over the campus. Now, thanks to Bradley senior Pam Gargiulo and Bradley graduate Jennifer Sheckler ’03, art students at Limestone Community High School in Bartonville have created little guardians of their own, based on Bradley’s watchful creatures.

Gargiulo, an art education major and student teacher at Limestone, saw the gargoyles before they rose to the Alumni Center’s roof and thought they would make excellent inspiration for an art project. Gargiulo was student teaching in Sheckler’s class and suggested the idea, which the Bradley alumna fully endorsed.

“This was something kind of new for the students, and I think they were inspired by it,” said Sheckler.

Gargiulo brought in images of the Bradley gargoyles to give the students a reference point. One picture showed Gargiulo standing next to one of the gargoyles so the students could see how large and imposing they are. The students researched other famous gargoyles and their history before drawing up their own. Then, it was time to bring their creations to life.

“Students came up with their own versions of these mythical creatures,” said Gargiulo. “They each have their own individual character.”

The students started by molding about four pounds of clay into a gargoyle’s basic shape. They then used carving tools to add detailed features like teeth, horns and claws. Next, they hollowed out the gargoyles to use as jars and put them into the kiln for their first firing. When they came out of the kiln, the students applied a glaze, and then returned the gargoyles to the kiln to finish the project. The whole process took about two weeks.

 “The students did an awesome job and really enjoyed the project,” said Gargiulo. “The students came up with some excellent, unique gargoyles!”