Thursday, December 4, 2003

Giant food for thought

Kids had to use ordinary materials to make Pop Art

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

[IMAGE] Tamara Supe (front right), Colleen Tekamp (center) and Tanya Rivin attack the "fuzz" to their giant kiwi fruit.
(Gary Landers photo)
LIBERTY TWP. - The sculptures along Lakota Plains' Junior School's main hallway are enormous.

The 4-foot long baked potato, open can of sardines with beady eyeballs and Chinese takeout represent more than pop culture of a bygone era.

They and four other larger-than-life food sculptures became an exercise in problem-solving for two dozen eighth-graders in the art class of Linda Augutis.

Not only did each group of three or four students have to determine what they wanted to make, but they had to use ordinary materials.

"The Pop Art style is representative of a culture, of consumerism and advertisement (from the 1960s and '70s),'' Augutis said. "Can you take them for their face value or is there other meaning?"

That question was posed to the students this week as they put final touches on the sculptures they have been working on for a month. Earlier this week the works were placed along the main hallway where they will remain on display through the end of the school year.

For many of the students, the philosophical question took a back seat to the practicality of choosing a food and then figuring how to artistically represent it at hundreds of times its original size.

"It was bigger when we began," said Celeste Dillon, 13, of the 54-inch long and 30-inch high baked potato. "It was 6 feet long to begin with. We had to work together as a team to get it right."

Celeste, along with Collin Chaplin, Liz Federle and Willie Harkins, first made a base stuffed with newspapers and then used sheets cut into long strips and dipped into a papier mache solution to build the potato.

From there they chose white pillow stuffing for sour cream, topped with styrofoam pieces painted brown for bacon, and yellowed foam became a pad of butter Painted paper towel rolls cut into 2-inch pieces served as chives.


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