Traverse City Senior High School Class of 1965
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Class of 1965 Sculpture Dedication

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TCHS1965 Administrator
06-10-2006 02:00am
On Monday, June 12, 2006, at 4:00PM EST, the TCHS class of 1965, will gift and dedicate a sculpture to TCHS (our graduating school).  Through the artist guidance and the commissioning of our fellow classmate, Bob Purvis, and the funding from the Class of 1965, four current high school art students designed and built the sculpture.  A gathering of students, parents and Mike Murray, the TCHS principal will be present.  As a reminder, this sculpture, along with yearly scholarships, were all made possible through your generous contributions during our 40th Reunion.

The ceremony will take place between the gymnasium and the administration building (at least as we remember their locations to be), in the proximity of the flag pole.  As an interesting side note, the winning designer/artist Matt Hansen, a TCHS art student, is the grandson of one of our beloved teachers, Woody Hanson.

Everyone is invited!  Bob tells us that the sculpture will be delivered around 3:00, so if you want to arrive a little earlier, please do so!  Who knows, we might all decide to stop at Sleders afterwards, for a beer and burger.

Pictures will be taken and placed on our website, along with an update as to future activities.


Class of 1965 Sculpture Dedication

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TCHS1965 Administrator
06-15-2006 11:43am
Fri, 9 Jun 2006
This is awsome.  Thanks for the invite.  I won't be able to come, but I'll be there in spirit.  Tom Brott

Sat, 10 Jun 2006
What a wonderful idea! And such meaningful connections...Woody Hansen's grandson and Bob Purvis.

I've asked my sister, Nancy Brick, and brother, Tom Stokes, to represent me at the ceremony. I will be unable to attend. I'm teaching and designing at the Rochester School of the Arts in New York. We don't graduate until June 23rd, so I have to be here to finish out the year.

Congrats to all! Patti (Stokes) Olender  :>)


Class of 1965 Sculpture Dedication

Quote in Reply
TCHS1965 Administrator
06-15-2006 11:57am
Grand Traverse Herald
A weekly community newspaper covering Traverse City and its adjacent townships


Sculpture transforms campus
Four CHS students worked on project since November with area sculptor
By Carol South
Herald contributing writer

When Traverse City Central High School students arrived on campus Tuesday morning, the courtyard sported a new feature: a bright orange modern art sculpture.

Celebrating the school's first public piece of art, two dozen people gathered Monday afternoon to dedicate the sculpture. Eight months in the making, the six-foot tall piece was installed on a temporary base Monday; later it will be permanently situated on a round pedestal that will rotate.

The piece will be a focal point for informal outdoor gatherings at the school.
'What we are trying to do is create the space out here for an outdoor commons area for the students,' said Mike Murray, principal of Central High School. 'The [nearby] flagpole is not only for the flag but a gathering place for students, this just adds to the feeling.'

Four graduating seniors Max Bruening, Brian Butzier, Matt Hansen and Cassie Heuton worked since November on their own time with Bob Purvis, a Suttons Bay artist and sculptor. Hansen, who will attend Kendall School of Design in Grand Rapids next fall, designed the piece.

Viewed in place for the first time Monday afternoon, climbed on and petted and admired, the sculpture won high marks from its creators. The culmination of months of design and construction became the high point of the project.
'Take simplicity and make something cool, that was our goal,' noted Bruening of the piece, as yet unnamed. 'It has life.'

Aspiring artist Heuton, who will also attend Kendall School of Design next year, said the design invites people into the sculpture where they can relate to it.
'It needs to be interactive, that's part of it, adding more to it,' she said. 'Because it's art in many different aspects.'

The idea for the artwork grew out of the Traverse City Senior High class of 1965's 40th reunion last year. In addition to creating two $1,000 scholarships for a Central High School 2006 graduate to use at Northwestern Michigan College, class members set up a fundraising silent auction to benefit the school. Consulting with principal Mike Murray, they earmarked proceeds for a landscaping project.

When Purvis, a member of that class, got a call asking him to donate a piece of art to the auction, the furniture maker and metal smith suggested instead the student-led project.

'I said, 'Give me some money and I will go have an interaction with some of the students and at the end of which we will come up with a sculpture for the campus,'' he recalled, adding of his alma mater: 'There is not any public art on the grounds of the school and the first class graduated in 1960.'
Purvis met with students weekly beginning in November. They drew countless ideas over the winter before making cardboard models of favorites. Then Purvis led what he termed a design charette, where participants put their models one at a time in the middle of the table for comment.

'Everybody is free to say what they want to say, but nothing personal or attacking,' said Purvis. '[We] evaluate the work: what does it look like, how to make it better and what will it look like in the space it will be in.'
After that, the students, Purvis and art teacher Karen Hoth tweaked the models to reflect the evaluations and comments. The students then voted on the four designs, with each student abstaining from voting on his own idea. Hansen's design won.

Purvis led the construction effort, completing the painting last Friday at his Suttons Bay studio. Students as well as Hansen's father, Dan, pitched in on the building; Dan Hansen also crafted the temporary base.

Purvis, who teaches student groups around the region, relished working with the four teens. The opportunity to create art with students, however, is becoming less common, especially on the scale of this larger piece.

'Doing a piece like we did, having the experience of thinking about and drawing and making models of a piece that is destined to be outdoors is just an experience that these kids just don't have,' he said. 'But from a broader standpoint, it's a great opportunity for people from the community to step forward and say if you want to have an experience of this kind we'll help.'  

(See 6/14/2006 issue at

Attached File: HighSchoolStatue012.jpg


Class of 1965 Sculpture Dedication

Quote in Reply
TCHS1965 Administrator
06-15-2006 11:59am
Wed, 14 Jun 2006
What an awesome sculpture and what a great article in the Grand Traverse Herald this morning.  Can you identify the people in the picture for the web page?  I was so sorry I had another commitment on Monday afternoon but can't wait to go over and see the sculpture in person.  Our thanks to Bob Purvis for making this idea come to life!
Judy (Lemcool) Goodrich

Wed, 14 Jun 2006
We had fun and we have now officially left our marks, permanently on the grounds of TCHS, in the hearts and souls of student artists and for some deserving and needy students as they continue to further their education.  We have much to be proud of, especially of our 'TCHS Class of 1965'!

You must check out the attachment and visit the link to the 'Grand Traverse Herald' (

Keep Smiling!

Have a great week and even a better Summer.

Paul Biederman

Wed, 14 Jun 2006
It is time to be proud of our class and all it has accomplished since the first meeting to plan the reunion. It is exciting to see what has evolved in the last couple years and it is not over yet. OUTSTANDING!!!!

From the photo's and the wonderful article that the kids and Bob enjoyed the total experience, what a legacy for them. It really turned out to be all we had planned and discussed at our many meetings. I didn't realize the piece was going to be rotating, that is too cool, it will add a whole different dimension to the piece.

All in all it is very exciting and I hope everyone can stop by and enjoy.

To Bob Purvis, you are special, thank you for giving such a wonderful gift to the kids and the school. You came through in spades, BRAVO!!!

Love you all, Pamela [(Fox) Alexander]

Thu, 15 Jun 2006
I second Pamela's  note, I can't wait to stop by and see the sculpture.  Bravo Bob!!!  Wish I could have been there for the dedication but we had a prior engagement.
After all our planning  we couldn't have had a better outcome.  Looking forward to seeing you all again soon...have a wonderful summer.

Pam [(Guger) Plenge]

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