A Sea of Poppies

May 10, 2021

Riverhead High School ceramics and creative arts students are collaboratively working on a community service project that will result in the “planting” of over 200 ceramic poppies on the grounds of the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead in honor of Memorial Day.

Under the direction of art teachers Selena Pagliarulo and Debbie Cantalupo, 155 students began forging the poppies during the week of April 26. Each poppy must be carefully molded, painted, glazed and fired before it is completed. The entire process to make 200 poppies will take the students about two and a half weeks. The ceramic flowers will be planted using metal rods.

The project, explained Pagliarulo, was inspired by Paul Cummings, who with his team of volunteers created a ceramic poppy art installation, “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” at the Tower of London to commemorate the start of World War I.

The installation will take place on May 27 and will be available for viewing through June 1.