A 1.2 metre high stone cairn, capped with an illustrated disc depicting the mountain ranges beyond, has been installed at the summit of Mt Hutt. The group project between Mt Hutt Ski Area, local stonemason, Murray Wagstaff, and Mount Hutt College student, Mallory Oram, developed in response to the Discover Mt Hutt summer open days and the enormous amount of sightseers it attracts each year.
Ski Area manager, James McKenzie, commented on the project.
“Mount Hutt College and the ski area have enjoyed working together in the past, with volunteer student groups helping out with various maintenance tasks over the years, but this was the first academic type of engagement we have had and we’re really happy with the results.”
The College’s Head of faculty Arts, Lisa Ponweiser, explained more about the process of the school’s community involvement.
“It takes a bit of serendipity; a worthwhile project needs to match up with an available, interested and talented student or group of students. The Mt Hutt cairn project was definitely a case of serendipity. The question from James McKenzie – ‘Do you have a student who could do this?’ – came at just the right moment. We had a student looking for an idea for her folio who felt passionate about Mt Hutt and skiing and was also studying Geography. It gave the student an opportunity to really think outside the square, incorporating Google Earth to visualise the initial concept and check the accuracy of the information.”
The College’s first foray into community art projects came about through the school’s end of year community service day, with the Playcentre and the Swimming Pool being the first groups to engage with the department. The college’s art students also managed the very successful production of the local children’s book project: Rajah the Wonder Dog.
Ms Ponweiser added, “Mount Hutt College art students love to get involved with local projects that rely on passionate volunteers or that strive to showcase something really special about our local area; projects that give the students some agency of their own to create a work of art or design and we look forward to the next interesting collaboration to emerge.”