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PWHS art students bring preschoolers’ monsters to life

PWHS art students bring preschoolers’ monsters to life
high school students holding clay monsters

For a collaborative clay project, the Advanced Placement 3-D and Ceramics 2 classes at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School drew inspiration from a surprising source — four-year-olds at St. John’s Nursery School in Blue Bell.

The innovative art project began with the preschoolers using their imaginations to draw monsters. Their designs were then handed over to the high school students, who took on the challenge of transforming the two-dimensional drawings into three-dimensional clay sculptures.

two purple clay monsters and a purple drawing

Some of the high school students created a direct interpretation of the child’s drawing, while others turned the monsters into practical items like a cup or jar. PWHS junior Ry Bass made four stacked monsters on a spindle that could be rearranged like a ring stacking game. 

“I’m excited to hopefully inspire the kids to keep creating things when they get older,” said Ry. “It was a cool experience.”

High school student holding up drawing and clay piece to camera with student

Ry Bass talks to one of the preschoolers about their drawing and the clay monster interpretation.

Once the sculptures were complete, the pairs of artists met each other through Zoom. The high school students showed the younger students the finished product, which will be packed up and sent to the nursery school for the younger child to keep.

“Our students were so excited to talk on Zoom; they felt very important,” said Carrie Engel, director of the nursery school and PWHS alum. “They could barely contain themselves as they waited for their name to be called and to see what ‘the big kids’ had made. Each child was thrilled with their monster. They can’t wait to take them home.”

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