ArtPrize artist donates project back to Greenville students

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:35 am on Thursday, November 17, 2011

Daily News/Kelli Ameling Greenville High School students, from left, Mara Allen, Linsey Christensen, Lena Jenson, Katie Schofield and Taylor Sirard showed off the “person” they made for ArtPrize. Rachel Haines is not pictured.

GREENVILLE — Greenville High School students teamed up with ArtPrize artist Corey Van Duinen to help develop a project for the 2011 contest.
Instead of Van Duinen auctioning off the pieces after the show, he decided to give the pieces back to the students.
Van Duinen delivered about five pieces to Greenville High School on Wednesday afternoon that the students created. He delivered a few more that students helped children make during the Maranda Park Party earlier this summer.
The art, titled “And A Child Will Lead Them,” had groups of students create a “person” that was interpreted by Van Duinen, an ArtPrize finalist from 2009 and 2010. The students put the pieces together while Van Duinen outlined each one and added mirrors.
“I loved them all,” Van Duinen told the students. “They were wonderful. I cannot say enough about the great job you did.”
Greenville art teacher Sonja Peterson initially was planning to auction off each piece for a minimum of $150. Instead, her students collected pennies to give Van Duinen since he donated the pieces back to them.
Peterson presented Van Duinen with a check for $500 to go toward Kids Food Basket.
As of now, Peterson said the pieces will be dispersed among Greenville Public Schools to showcase the students’ hard work that went into them. Peterson hopes they can stay inside at the schools because some of the pieces could be damaged by the weather.
Senior Taylor Sirard, 17, said the group she worked with learned how to take many ideas and put them into one project.
“The hardest part was putting the ideas into the work,” Sirard said.
Sophomore Hope Whiggers, 17, participated in the Park Party. She enjoyed the wide variety of people who came together to work with the children.
“How to interact with people,” Whiggers said is something she learned while participating.
Van Duinen teamed up with WOOD-TV 8 and a number of schools across West Michigan to make his project happen.

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