Early in March, the ideaXfactory hosted a series of visits from WINGS classes from the Phelps Center for Gifted Education. Representative students from each of the Springfield Public Schools were part of the visiting groups.

We received this report from educator Michelle Billionis who organized and led the visits:

Student’s from Phelps Center for Gifted Education were pleasantly surprised at the quantity and quality of art right here in their hometown of Springfield MO. The plan for the day was to visit three innovative art venues in downtown Springfield. The first being a hacker/makerspace called Squidfoo, the second, a community-centered space called ideaXfactory, and the third, a paper recycling business/gallery called Art Inspired that provides employment for people with challenges.

While students passed by the ideaXfactory they wowed as they noticed the various knit-bombed trees and poles located just outside of the factory. They laughed and found delight in the very thought of covering random items in yarn.  Upon entering the ideaXfactory, students began to interact with Russ RuBert’s motion sensory activated neon sculptures. At one point two young ladies began dancing around the sculptures fully immersing themselves in the moment.

Resisting the temptations to move around and touch the artwork in the factory, students gathered around a table to listen to the science behind a new interactive neon wall installation Russ RuBert was working on. As Mr. RuBert explained and demonstrated the thre different ways in which the wall would be activated, students just stood in amazement; no doubt contemplating this idea, and formulating questions and ideas of their own.

On the ride home from the field trip one student said, “This has got to be the best field trip I’ve ever been on”!

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