Art & Design

TAMU-CC art students design, install living sculptures of native animals around campus


Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is getting a little greener after sculpture and fabrication students designed and installed living sculptures at 10 locations around the campus.

Visiting professor April Terra Livingston and her class of nine women welded and filled 13 sculptures of animals native to the Coastal Bend, including a giant centipede, ghost shrimp, banded armadillo, ghost crab, Texas rattlesnake and Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.

Kathryn Chambers, 21, works with her classmates and professor April Terra Livingston to install a living sculpture of a Texas rattlesnake at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Kathryn Chambers, 21, works with her classmates and professor April Terra Livingston to install a living sculpture of a Texas rattlesnake at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Livingston, a visiting professor for two semesters, brought this project idea from her hometown of Mobile, Alabama.

“I knew when I got the fabrication class that I wanted to do something with nature and wildlife, so this seemed like a perfect fit,” Livingston said. “In my own artwork, I do a lot of work about nature, causes for nature and preservation of nature.”

After stick-welding the frame of the sculpture, students wrapped their piece with chicken wire and began stuffing it with sphagnum moss and other live plants donated by Gill Garden Center and Turners’ Gardenland and purchased with funds from the university and Office Depot.

Autumn Scrimpsher, 24, works on a living sculpture of a ghost shrimp for her sculpture and fabrication class at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Autumn Scrimpsher, 24, works on a living sculpture of a ghost shrimp for her sculpture and fabrication class at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Autumn Scrimpsher, 24, is a TAMU-CC student graduating this year and said it was the first time she’s seen something like this done on campus. One of Scrimpsher’s projects, the ghost crab, ended up being larger than she expected.

“I came every night just trying to get this done for the past two or three weeks,” Scrimpsher said.

The plants used in the sculptures are chosen specifically for each creature. Scrimpsher’s ghost crab and ghost shrimp sculptures will feature white flowers and light-colored foliage to represent the animals’ naturally white colors. Each of the sculptures is accompanied by a sign with information about the project.

Kathryn Chambers, 21, left, and professor April Terra Livingston  add the finishing touch to a living sculpture of a Texas rattlesnake at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Kathryn Chambers, 21, left, and professor April Terra Livingston add the finishing touch to a living sculpture of a Texas rattlesnake at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

The university’s Islander Green Team, a student group promoting sustainability and environmental initiatives, will take the plants when the sculptures are removed two weeks after their installation. The plants and moss will be planted around the campus.

“My students are so awesome and talented,” Livingston said. “I wish I could take them with me when I go back home. The TAMU-CC students are the best students I’ve ever worked with. They’re just really driven, they’ve been really passionate about this project, and it’s an honor to be their teacher.”

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This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: TAMU-CC students design, install living sculptures of native animals



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