First Flight and Flat Stanley

First Flight StatueWish this picture had turned out better of Mother swinging a child in great delight with hair blowing in the wind. Art can be fun, can be series, can be controversial; but who doesn't enjoy looking at a statue? Don't we all love to pose by statues. See Flat Stanley is no different. This statue, titled "First Flight" in Worthington, Ohio on High Street in the NW quadrant of The Village Green is in front of The Senior Center. It's the only publicly owned piece of art in Worthington. It was purchased in 1998.

The sculpture is Alfred Tibor, a man with a fascinating story. He was born in Feb of 1920 in Hungary with the name Alfred Goldstein. Being Jewish was beyond difficult in those days. He was a very talented gymnast. He was self taught because of being Jewish he wasn't allowed training. But through hard work and dedication, on his part he qualified for The Hungarian Olympic Team. Though he qualified, he was not permitted to attend and compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, simply because he was Jewish. They wouldn't let him register.

In 1940 he was a slave laborer for The Hungarian Army, and was captured by The Soviets and held prisoner for 6 long years in a Siberian Prison Camp. There were 273 men at this camp. Alfred Tibor was one of only 2 men to live through that ordeal, all others, all 271 died. He survived The Holocaust, though most his family didn't. Of the 82 members in his family, only he and his brother Andre lived.

Once freed he changed his name to Tibor after his older brother who'd been executed. He lived in Budapest for 9 years where he worked as the exhibition designer for the Government. He fled the country with his family 2 years after The Hungarian Revolution and made his way to Miami, Florida here in The United States. Sixteen years later he moved to Ohio and has produced many meaningful and beautiful pieces of art. His art can be seen in many outdoor locations around Ohio and The World.

In 2005, he was in the news, but not because of his art. He was injured and hospitalized when a Deer burst through his living room window and attacked him. He's truly a fascinating man and has been honored repeatedly for his wondrous works of art.

close up First FlightHere you can see his signature at the foot of the Statue (on the right), as well as The Statues Title.

Take the kids, walk, ride bikes, stop the car and explore what's around you. Take pictures of the kids individually in front of statues, even the young ones will enjoy it. This topic- in it's detail may not be age appropriate for all; but certainly parts of it are. A wonderful opportunity to discuss religious freedoms. What activity do the kids enjoy, ask them how fair it would be for them not to be able to do it; because they're Catholic, or because they have blue eyes, or red hair?

Have an art activity after you've been to a statue. Does your computer photo software have an option to make coloring book pages? Many do, you take your photo's and with a click can turn them into pages for the kids to color. How cool would that be, with them in the picture? Grab clay or play dough and have the kids make their own statue. As in all previous posts, there's always the math that can be done with dates and ages, places to find on the map, calculate distances, find pictures of flags to color. Make a word puzzle, or look up words in the dictionary.

Active learning is fun and so much more rewarding then too many hours in front of the TV.

Until next time, Friday May 21st Flat Stanley out.

Flat Stanley's Previous Adventures:
First adventure, books and libraries
Second Adventure, Hero or Traitor
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  1. The artist certainly does have a fascinating story including the deer bursting in his house!

  2. Wow, he certainly has had an interesting life. I am so glad he survived that camp and gave us such beautiful art to enjoy.

  3. A very nice informative article keeping Alfred's story alive, it can be very easy for these inspirational peoples life to be forgotten about or lost in the shocking scale of how many have been affected

  4. That really is a great statue. And a wonderful story about Alfred. Wish I could see that statue in real life. I bet it is even better.
    Thanks for visiting us. And we are thrilled to be right next to you on JuneZach's blog. He is such a nice guy.
    Have a great day.

  5. Alfred did have a most amazing life. I'll have to remember his name and see if there's a book about him. The idea for the coloring books are great! Most everyone loves to color! {:-D

  6. Statues provide a great way to honor people with exceptional lives. We also have some fantastic statues here in Dublin. Even though I have traveled a lot with work, some of the more enjoyable experiences I have had are closer to home, visiting attractions close by.

  7. I bet you have a 3rd grader! My daughter just did the flat stanley project, but unfortunately flat stanley got lost in his travels and didn't make it back to the classroom.

  8. No, no 3rd grader. It's been many years since I've had a child that young. My daughter's old enough that she is now a teacher. lol



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