The Celia Javkin Sculpture Garden used to be a meeting space for students and faculty, but due to lack of interest and lack of upkeep this is no longer the case.
Celia Javkin was a Spanish teacher at Lawrence Woodmere Academy, one who had a big impact on her students and fellow faculty, according to Roslyn Friedman, Assistant to the Headmaster and Upper School Principal. Because of this impact she made on the school, the Sculpture Garden was named after her in her honor when she passed away.
The garden was constructed around 15 years ago, with the help of the maintenance staff and the art department. It’s primary purpose, along with being a tribute to Javkin, was to become a place for “students to go out when weather is warmer,” or a place where where teachers could take their students out for a lesson or class, according to Dawn Shillalies, LWA Upper School Art teacher. Shillalies also explained that it was once a storage area that they decided to refurbish, planting tulips, butterfly bushes, building a pond, and sculpture, built by art students.
All that is out there as of now is some old wooden benches, a shed, and a table used for the summer camp, along with the sculpture previously talked about. During the school year its primary purpose is to bring in deliveries from outside into the cafeteria. “Other than for deliveries and some faculty eating out there, it’s unused,” according to Nigel Fortune. When asked to comment on the state of the garden, he simply stated “It’s a junkyard,” due to the pieces of wood, tires, and other various items spewed across the grassy area.
A reason why this garden could have been abandoned during the school year is because, according to Fortune, “students prefer to eat inside.” Another possibility is that the state of the garden is what’s preventing students and teachers from going out there. “I feel like it would be such a nice place for students to have, a place to get work done and for mindfulness which can be a really important aspect of education,” according to Allison Siegel (CO 2019), Student Senate President, when asked how she feels about the garden. While there are no current plans to upgrade the garden, according to Craig Pinto, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, “it is not out of the question in the future.”