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WSHS students 'Draw On!' to create art together

WSHS students 'Draw On!' to create art together cameron-vivenzio-alysa-cas.jpg
From left: sophomore Cameron Vivenzio, freshman Alysa Cassidy and senior Steven Bishop work on assigned portions of the Utagawa Hiroshige works for the Art One classes' Draw On! project.Reminder Publications photo by Debbie Gardner
WEST SPRINGFIELD — It took a little while to warm up to the idea, but when the 90 West Springfield High School (WSHS) Art One students in seventh period caught on to what the project was about, just about everyone dove in and started drawing. Their task to each reproduce a small piece of a larger work by the 18th Century Japanese ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige on a white square of paper. When completed, the squares were to be assembled to create mural-size copies of two of Hiroshige's most spring-themed works.

WSHS paraprofessional Ann Roy helps 10th grade Art One student Kevin Hernandez identify his piece of the art projet.
Reminder Publications phoro by Debbie Gardner
These artists were among 246 other Art One students who participated in the community drawing project last Tuesday as part of the school's Draw On! celebration, an event which began on March 26 and will run through April 9. Brought to WSHS by Fine Arts Instructor Rachel Lepine, the Draw On! project is part of an annual celebration of the visual arts initiated by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Conn. Founded through the museum's high school art lab in 2006, Draw On! seeks to "unite people of all ages through something as simple as drawing."

Junior Elizabeth Hurlbut works on her section of the Draw On! project during the combined Art One class.
Reminder Publications photo by Debbie Gardner
Since 2006, Draw On! events have taken place annually at museums, libraries, schools and senior centers throughout Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In 2010, a total of 114 organizations participated in the weeklong celebration of drawing. "My son's school [in Northampton] did a collage project [with Draw On!] last year and I went online to check it out," Lepine said. "I thought it would be a good idea because we had so many kids taking art."

ion for assembly of the two works by Japanese ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige chosen for the Draw On! project.Teachers sort completed squares by design and color in preparatb>
Reminder Publications submitted photo
"Some of the kids [this morning] really enjoyed [the Hiroshige] project and want to do it again," she said. "I like the way it brings all of the art classes together," said senior Steven Bishop as he worked on his square. "It's interesting," said junior Elizabeth Hurlburt of the project. "I was a bit annoyed at first, but I'm warming up to it." Taylor said she was thrilled with the students' enthusiasm for the project. "This is such a pleasant surprise for us and for the kids. They're working well together and that goes to the basis of the [Draw On!] project," she said.

One of the completed Draw On! projects, which will be on display during WSHS's may 26 Art show. Reminder Publications submitted photo
Lepine said the finished pictures would be on display at WSHS annual Art Show, scheduled for May 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the school's large cafeteria. : Bookmark and Share