Only in Jackson Hole would children play on a larger-than-life elk shed.
A climbable elk shed sculpture arrived at the Jackson Hole Children's Museum this week as the final stage of a two-year partnership with Jackson Hole Public Art and the Jackson Hole High School Fabrication Lab.
The project started in the fall of 2016 as an afterschool program called "design to climb." Bland Hoke, Public Art's artist in residence, and an educator from the children's museum led 25 third- through fifth-graders through an eight-week design program. Students learned basic design concepts, experimented with materials and scale, and, with their newfound knowledge, were tasked with designing an outdoor climbable sculpture.
The ideas and models of the younger students were transferred to the high school's fabrication lab students, who took the concept from prototype to reality with Hoke's help.
The final design is inspired by the natural form of an elk antler — synonymous with Jackson Hole, from the Town Square's arches to the Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction and the yearly hunt for sheds on national forest land — and includes many of the playful design concepts that were presented in the students’ original models.
“It is truly magnificent,” said Jean Lewis, Jackson Hole Children’s Museum Executive Director. “This project and process represents what engaging education can and should look like. It represents the Children's Museum and all that we strive for in education – project-based, collaborative, relevant and engaging.”
There will be an official elk shed opening and celebration at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Museum at 174 N. King Street.