Inspired by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, Lower Schoolers create colorful art installation
Posted 11/09/2017 03:16PM


A curious sight greeted Durham Academy Lower Schoolers at the beginning of this school year: a white “room” that materialized under their staircase while they’d been away for summer break. It didn’t take long for this mysterious room to begin to take on a new appearance — a very colorful and creative one.

Lower School art teacher Pamela McKenney set up the space — The Obliteration Room — during the summer, styled after Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s installations. Every single Lower Schooler participated by placing brightly colored polka dot stickers in the room, and they were joined by many students from other divisions, faculty and staff members, and parents. About 20,000 dots of varying sizes have been placed in the room.

“This space is for them to interact in whatever way they want to,” McKenney explained.

This fall, Lower Schoolers have studied Kusama’s paintings and installations in art class, and second-, third- and fourth-grade classes went on to create four collaborative paintings inspired by Kusama’s work.

The Obliteration Room installation will be up — below the staircase between the first- and second-grade pods — as long as the dots and white-papered surfaces remain intact.

An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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