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No plans to reinstall Lake Thoreau art broken by high winds

The artwork, pictured in its complete form, was removed from the platform (courtesy Public Art Reston)

Cerebral, a public art piece created by South Lakes High School’s STEAM club on the Lake Thoreau spillway, is officially no more.

There are no plans to install the sculpture after high winds loosed its joints and its pieces fell into the lake and beyond last weekend, according to SLHS art teacher Marco Rando.

The sculpture is the first to fail because of the elements and the seventh installation overall placed by the club on the spillway.

Rando said that, although the sculpture is designed and engineered for extreme elements using hurricane ties, the winds damaged some of the joints.

“The tie down cables worked to keep the elements secured to the concrete base even when half sculpture fell into the lake,” Rando said. “Fortunately the wood members of the sculpture allowed the work to float, this helped in towing the work to shore where it was disassembled in smaller pieces for transport back to the school.”

Because of the significant damage to the sculpture, the team decided not to focus on reassembling.

But it won’t be long before another sculpture will take its place. Students are currently working on a new concept — “Rise” — that will face “more engineering scrutiny” to buttress the sculpture to weather more natural elements.

“The team is very confident this year’s concept will be aesthetically beautiful with added structural details to withstand the erratic weather conditions that seem to be common of the current climate change. The students of STEAM Team take great pride in serving the community,” Rando said.

He says setbacks like the structural failure of an artwork are a learning experience for all.

“Such setbacks will only strengthen the students experience, this real world problem, which occurs on professional levels as well, affords the Team opportunity to examine and resolve issues before they are unsettled,” Rando said.

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