A large octopus has taken up residence in an Omaha home.
Lila Ferber entered her sculpture, “One Octopus Band,” in the 3M/Scotch Brand Off the Roll Packaging Tape Sculpture Contest.
Yes, that’s right — sculptures made of packaging tape.
Lila, a junior at Westside High School, got interested in making tape sculptures while she was an art student at Joslyn Art Museum. She learned about the 3M contest last year and decided to enter the 2012 competition.
“One Octopus Band,” which has an octopus playing a flute, a trumpet and a harp while busking for change, was born.
“I really wanted to make an octopus,” she said, adding that the idea for its playing the instruments came from her musical family. Lila plays flute in the Westside band.
Her sculpture is huge — 6 feet deep, 6 feet tall and about that wide. The only way it can be transported is to separate the octopus and the harp and move the pieces separately in the family van.
Lila worked on the sculpture both in the basement at home and at the Kent Bellows Studio, where she is a student in the mentor program. When she’s working at home, she said she gets inspiration and moral support from her pet rabbit, Honey Bunny.
“She sits in my lap,” said Lila, who is the daughter of Jenni Schlossman and Jeff Ferber.
Lila learned the technique of layering the tape with the sticky side out at Joslyn. That enables the sculptor to have a solid base for the work that can be removed by cutting through the tape. The cut can be covered with more tape.
She used various objects — balloons, pillows, an umbrella — for her sculpture, which even has moving parts such as the keys of the trumpet and flute.
“It’s harder to think about and plan than it is to make it,” she said. “Once I got used to (working with the tape) and figured out how it works, it wasn’t hard.”
Just time consuming.
It took Lila almost a year — and 55 rolls of tape — to complete the sculpture. The only things on the sculpture that aren’t tape are the money in the busking hat and the strings of the harp.
The project has been interesting but Lila actually prefers oil painting to sculpting. And she has no doubts about what her future holds. “I’m going to be an artist.”
The contest, in its third year, drew 102 entries. Online voting to determine the first- and second-place finalists ended Wednesday. A panel of experts — pioneer tape sculptor Mark Jenkins, artist Jesse Nolan and Joe Davidson of the department of art and design at the University of South Florida — will select the first-place winner. All the places will be announced May 10. First place wins $5,000, second place $1,500 and the other three places $500.
For more information, see the other finalists and watch a video on how tape sculptures are made, visit the contest website. Find a link at Omaha.com/Living.
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