Friday, May 22, 2009

Creating Chalk Art for World Vision

As a fundraiser for World Vision, students from Mariner High School in Everett, Washington created art to show faces of poverty. The students created chalk drawings that shows to fellow students the plight of children in the under developed world.

From the Herald, writer Eric Stevick watched the students create the artwork.

The images of children from Third World countries stare up from the concrete sidewalks in front of Mariner High School.

Drawn in chalk in bright shades of yellow, red and blue, they will fade with the next rainfall.

In some ways, the fleeting dust portraits are an apt medium to tell stories of children from Sudan, Rwanda, Cambodia and other countries ravaged by conflict, hunger and subsistence living. Chances are they, too, will have short lives.

"We are trying to get through to them that poverty exists well beyond the U.S. borders," said Clayte Huber, a Mariner social studies teacher.

The project, which has been done over one day each spring for the last three years, teams up senior social studies students who do research with fine arts students who craft the drawings on their hands and knees. Mariner also is collecting money this week that will be donated to World Vision, an international relief organization.

Armed with blueprints and grids, Tana McKenna, Lia Sagun, Liliya Leonchyk and Brittaney Rizzo re-created a photo of a 6-year-old Cambodian girl who helps her family scavenge for food.

Minutes of reflection turned to hours hunched over their portraits.

McKenna, a senior, said she hopes it will make her schoolmates pause.

"When you look down, it's a good opportunity to think about others," she said.

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