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Artistic and adorable

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HARRISON –

See that creature in the photo at top right? That is the beloved and legendary “Pig Chicken With Round Hands.”

You never heard of it? Well, more’s the pity.

We made its acquaintance last week in Harrison, where students in kindergarten through third grade were exhibiting their work in Lincoln School’s annual art show.

Although we have written about prior shows, we never cease to be delighted, and amazed, at the creativity and imagination evident in the sculptures, paintings, collages, etc.

The aforementioned being, for example, was the creation of a third-grader, who envisioned it and then brought it to life, so to speak, using everyday, mundane recyclables.

(Look closely. It is obviously a rotund, white pig. With chicken “feathers.” And circular hands.)

The halls of the building on Cross St. were lined with such gems, some displayed on tables, some hanging on the walls. A visitor walking through the doors couldn’t help but smile as soon as the art came into view. And then you read the titles: “The Cow From the Moon,” “The Big- Eyed Hungry Animal,” “The Happy Snowman That Loves to Play,” “The Flying Long- Tailed Cat With Antenna.”

Did we say the children were imaginative?

While art teacher Regina Greene provided the materials, and guidance, the concepts came from the youngsters themselves, who spent considerable time over three weeks painstakingly bringing their ideas to fruition. This year, teacher Cienne Keegan also worked with some of the younger artists.

This was Greene’s last time “producing” the show. After 42 years as an art teacher, she is retiring. But not before completing one last task. Over the summer, she will oversee the placement of ceramic tiles, each featuring a student’s artwork, in the school cafeteria.

The colorful tiles are to cover an entire wall. If the installation is anything like the one at Lincoln’s main entrance, it will be spectacular.

As for the annual exhibit, it was open to family and friends in mid-June, attracting “a wonderful turnout,” said Principal JoAnn Dignazio-Botch.

“I’m always proud to showcase our students’ talents and abilities,” she noted.

For the show, each class had a different project. One group of third-graders made a flock of birds (and eggfilled nests) from clay. Some second-graders used tempera and black markers to depict fanciful trees. Collages comprising leather and faux fur were featured in another Grade 2 exhibit, and other collages, also from Grade 2, were made of fabric from men’s ties from the 1940s and ‘50s. (Be glad that fashions have changed.)

The ties, and much of the other art materials, were donated to Greene for the show, and she also collected various recyclables over the year. The potential components for the separate class projects were put in boxes, and the students then “shopped for what they wanted” to use in their individual work, Greene explained.

The kids in the Grade 3 sculpture group, for example, could choose from among pieces of styrofoam, plastic blocks, plastic cups, glue-bottle caps, window- blind slats, cookie cutters — to name just some.

A box of these items presented to the average adult would produce bewilderment.

Presented to a creative child, it produces the “Pig Chicken With Round Hands.”

Our congratulations to each and every student who participated!

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