Downtown Fairfield Library is a Zoo!


Sophie Ferrante, Prospect Staff Writer

The downtown branch of Fairfield Public Library is a zoo! FLHS art is on display in the library throughout the month of March. The exhibit, titled “Cardboard Zoo” features 19 different animals cleverly constructed from recycled materials, and can be found atop the bookshelves around the library. 

These animal sculptures are a beautiful display of recycled materials being turned into masterful creations through creativity and craftsmanship. Artists in FLHS class Foundations in 3D Art used cardboard, cereal and soda boxes, and touches of hot glue to bring animals to life. 

The history of this project demonstrates the resilience of the FLHS art program. FLHS art teacher Ms. Zimmermann created this project while adapting to teaching remotely when she was faced with the task of creating a small sculpture project that remote 3D art students could do from home. She discovered that cardboard is an accessible, easy, and non-intimidating material that students can easily create with. Remote students were able to make small animal sculptures, from supplies as simple as a cereal box from their recycling bin. 

As the FLHS art program moved back into the classroom, the sculptures went from a simple small-scale project to several-foot-tall sculptures that occupy space with their personality and ingenuity. Over time, the sculptures got bigger as the art program was able to acquire more cardboard, through any means possible. This has included staff, student, and family donations, as well as collecting from recycling bins, all in the name of art and creativity. 

The animals are made from animal silhouettes cut from cardboard boxes, which are then brought to life with strips of thin cardboard (think cereal-box thickness) which add roundness and shape to the animals. The main challenge comes from taking the artwork from a flat animal shape to one that has dimension and a likeness to the real animal. These pieces have an unmistakable likeness to their live equivalents, bringing a zoo’s worth of animals to the library. 

Visit the library to see if you can find your favorite animal! The zoo exhibit features a wide variety, including birds, sea creatures, reptiles, big cats, and many others. They are spread around the different rooms of the library, so seeing the whole collection is a bit of a scavenger hunt and a great way to explore the public library while appreciating our FLHS student artists!

A public reception to celebrate the artist’s hard work and creativity will be held on March 9th at 6pm in the Periodicals room. Ms. Zimmermann urges students to drop in and celebrate the artwork.