Fordham grade school gets Ito sculpture

Akihiro Ito’s sculpture ‘A Child’ in the entry way of I.S. 254, is visible from both the street and the school. The Fordham Business Improvement Disrict arranged for the art donation.
Community News Group / Jaime Williams

A Fordham middle school has welcomed ‘A Child’ – a sculpture by Japanese artist Akihiro Ito.

The Fordham Road Business Improvement District set up the donation for the sculpture’s installation.

Ito also created ‘Tomorrow’ which has sat on Fordham Road for the past year as part of a partnership with the BID and the Department of Transportation.

I.S. 254, near the redevelopment at Fordham Plaza, is the perfect home for Ito’s second sculpture, said principal Alexis Marrero. He was convinced as soon as he saw a picture and learned the title.

“Of course I wanted it,” he said.

The seven-foot tall, cherry wood sculpture sits in a window above the main entrance of the school on Washington Avenue, where it is visible from the street.

Ito said he was glad to donate the piece to the school, since the sculpture has a message for the younger generation about the importance of nature and preserving it for the future.

“I want them to appreciate nature,” Ito said. “I think nature is the most important thing.”

Marrero said he likes that the abstract piece is open to interpretation by students and the community, and that it has already drawn eyes and questions.

“It’s an opportunity for a talking piece,” he said.

The principal wants to install spotlights to illuminate the piece at night, better showcasing it to the community.

Marrero is a product of the Fordham neighborhood, and he’s glad to see positive developments in the area, including the addition of art.

“This represents the change that’s happening in the community, the revitalization,” he said. “It’s really uplifting and inspiring to me and to the school.”

The Fordham Road BID, now in its 10th year, is making a big effort to bring more art and culture into the shopping district, said executive director Wilma Alonso, to invigorate the neighborhood.

“I think that adding other layers will attract people,” she said.

The efforts include events, such as an upcoming food truck extravaganza, and art such as the ‘tomorrow’ sculpture, which will soon have to be relocated.

But the BID doesn’t want to bring just any art to the neighborhood, said Alonso.

“It has to have a message connected to Fordham Road.”

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at 718-260-4591. E-mail her at

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