Is this fodder art class or sex education?
A 12.5-foot sculpture installed on the front lawn of Wasilla High School has created a controversy in Sarah Palin's hometown. Students began joking that the artwork looks like female genitalia, The Frontiersman says.
The sculpture, called "Warrior Within," is made from stone and concrete. Its perceived resemblance to a vagina comes from the two carved shields -- one made of bronze, the other aluminum -- that are surrounded by feathers that form the focal point.
The work was reviewed and approved by the school district, before it was installed last month. Then, adolescent snickering kicked in, and it quickly became too loud for the administration to ignore, The Alaska Daily News reports.
Three days after being unveiled, the publicly funded work was covered up. The principal claims it was put under wraps to protect the $100,000 piece from vandals, not to censor bawdy talk.
The school reversed its decision about two weeks later, removing the tarp from the "Warrior Within" ahead of parent teacher conferences, according to reports.
Jim Dault and Shala Dobson, the artists who built the sculpture, were scheduled to lead workshops at Wasilla High today to teach the kids about the meaning behind their work.
The Frontiersman quoted a description of the sculpture written by the artistic partners:
Emerging from the powerful stone form are two warrior shields encircled by glowing feathers. The bronze shield has a hand impression showing "good deeds." The aluminum shield has a flame symbol representing the "spark of inspiration." The stone form represents the strong material from which a warrior is made.
Principal Amy Spargo wants a little maturity.
"Where this goes is going to depend on the Wasilla High community, and I really believe everyone needs a voice," she told The Frontiersman. "I want the kids to have education when they look at it. I don't want it to be defaced, I don't want it to be a big joke."