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Wire ways: Learning the art of line

Hood River Middle School students learned that a simple line can be so much more than just a line.

A whimsical ballerina -- a special piece created by seventh-grader Courtney Lee -- three-dimensional faces, and running figures all evolved from just a simple line into metal sculptures through the program "No More Wooden Soldiers," directed by Artist in Residence Jean Vercillo.

"I just love these. Look at this one -- it almost looks like a Picasso, so elegant," said Vercillo as she strolled through the HRMS Library.

Eighth-grader Paul Robertson, who has found a love for art, transformed his simple line drawing of an eyes and nose into a detailed three dimensional face which is now installed in the entry to the middle school library.

All of the sculptures started out as drawings. Vercillo had each student make a drawing using one continous line.

The object was to teach the different effects a line can have by curving it, extending it, or drawing with it in a way which creates volume.

"We talked about taking a simple drawing, a 2-D continous line, and watching it become 3-D through creation of that same line in wire," said Vercillo.

Vercillo, who formerly was a fashion designer for 14 years in New York City and has been working with the Artist in Residence program since 1994, found as much inspiration as the students during the teaching of "No More Wooden Soldiers."

"You know, as teachers we always continue to learn," said Vercillo after looking back on the project.

"Courtney's (Lee) piece was a pivotal piece for me. She really showed me it's getting through."

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