Life-sized artwork wows at LMS

Life-sized artwork wows at LMS

Lincoln Middle School 6th-graders show off their life-sized artwork hanging in the school's cafeteria. Under the direction of teacher Jane Pichette, students traced themselves, in the pose of a favorite activity, onto refrigerator boxes and decorated the pieces with black paint and circles cut from wallpaper samples. (Valley Breeze photos by Meghan Kavanaugh)

LINCOLN - Sixth-graders are the talk of the middle school with an art project that puts their interests and personalities on display.

Hanging around Lincoln Middle School's lunchroom are life-size cardboard silhouettes of the students, posed playing their favorite sports and instruments, dancing, singing, fishing and using a computer.

Art teacher Jane Pichette started the project with students just before Christmas as a way to do something different and fun to learn about silhouettes, mosaics and the way colors appear in the rainbow.

Using refrigerator boxes donated by Wickford Appliance, students traced each other, painted the images black and then filled in the space with thousands of circles cut out from old wallpaper samples. Custodians hung some of the finished products from the ceiling in the cafeteria so as not to damage the new building's walls.

But the silhouettes have taken on a life of their own, serving as a conversation topic for the kids who met after heading to middle school from four different elementary schools this year.

Each is also accompanied by a haiku students wrote about their interests.

"We're kind of getting to know each other," said Christopher Albanese, who created a soccer-playing silhouette. "We get to learn new things about each other."

Nora Cunningham, who enjoys diving, agreed, saying, "A lot of people have these hidden talents they don't tell people."

Ballerina Gabriella Sanchez said she was able to connect with a classmate over a shared love of the same video game as he worked on his project.

"I helped him out and I got to learn a little bit more about him," she said.

While everyone agreed cutting out wallpaper circles was tedious at times, Jennah Saqib, who created an image of herself playing field hockey, said gluing the gradient of colors was her favorite part.

"If you do it right, it comes out really good," she said. "It's expressing something you love to do."

Pichette said viewers can see the students through their works.

"You can tell that the artwork carries a piece of them," she said. "People respond to that."

LMS Principal Mark Thompson praised Pichette for her work with the students.

"I just think that Mrs. Pichette is a very talented educator," he said. "She gave them such a voice and expression of who they are."

Lincoln Middle School 6th-graders Aidan Carey and Erin McGinness stand in front of their art projects. Aidan plays saxophone and read his poem about his interest before a band concert, and Erin has been playing soccer since kindergarten.
Nora Cunningham, a 6th-grader at Lincoln Middle School, shows how she posed as a diver for the life-sized silhouette she created in art class. In center, Timmy Falcon, a 6th-grader at Lincoln Middle School, created a 3D fishing pole and fish accessory for his life-sized silhouette.
Lincoln Middle School 6th-grader Jake Cioffi created this basketball-playing silhouette along with an accompanying haiku that reads, "Some want it to happen/ Others watch it happen/ Some make it happen."
Timmy Falcon, a 6th-grader at Lincoln Middle School, created a 3D fishing pole and fish accessory for his life-sized silhouette.