Visual arts teacher Alexandra Winchester would have probably given Grade 11 Cheyenne Gully a good mark just for making the hat part, but the student went out of her way in a papier-mache pop art project, creating a life-sized Mr. Potato Head.

Cheyenne Gully, left, shows off her fully functional Mr. Potato Head creation while Kaitlynn Crocker displays her giant backpack.
Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

“Hours and hours and hours,” said Winchester about the work involved in Gully’s project. “(She did) more than I was expecting. She stayed after school, she stayed after class. She pretty much put everything she possibly could into that project.”

The giant Mr. Potato Head is true to form, with all of its parts removable and replaceable.

“The fact that the parts are moveable brings it to a whole other level,” said Winchester.

Gully said the arms and shoes were the hardest part.

“It was fun to learn how to do all of that,” she said. “I thought making a Mr. Potato Head would be easier, but it wasn’t.”

She’s not planning to take the life-sized sculpture home with her to Sachs Harbour after the school year.

The papier-mache project took students all semester and resulted in the creation of a number of oversized recreations of everyday objects.

Katelynn Crocker made a giant backpack.

“I enjoy working with my hands and building things, so it was fun to put together,” said Crocker, who struggled to make the final project look like an actual backpack.

Winchester uses projects like the papier-mache one or pop art work to draw students into art.

“It’s a good way to hook them in,” said Winchester about a pop-art project that had students drawing self-portraits in a colourful style.

“I can talk about Renaissance art, Baroque art, and they’d for the most part probably get a little bored,” said Winchester. “This is something they can latch onto. The colours draw them in, the subject matter draws them in, it’s something relatable. It’s more contemporary in the grand history of art.”

This year is an off one for Winchester’s biennial annual art travel club, which takes a group of students on a vacation to learn about art styles in different places.

She’s beginning the work for next year’s trip, looking to take 12 students to southern California.

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