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Oak Harbor High School artists etch portraits in pumpkins

Self-portrait sculpture projects from Jennifer Yates’ sculpture design class at Oak Harbor High School include works such as sophomore Kyle Houck, an inspiring film maker. - Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Self-portrait sculpture projects from Jennifer Yates’ sculpture design class at Oak Harbor High School include works such as sophomore Kyle Houck, an inspiring film maker.
— image credit: Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

It’s not everyday that an artist’s medium is squash.

But that was the challenge that 33 art students in a sculpture design class at Oak Harbor High School faced recently when instructor Jennifer Yates asked them to etch self portraits.

On pumpkins.

The results impressed her.

The students used their hand-carving tools to produce some creative portraits and set out their finished products in a court yard at school. This week, they were able to collect them and take them home.

Among some of the works that caught her attention was the carving of Eduardo Andrade-Gutierrez, a junior who transferred into school mid-semester from Toluca City, Mexico. He’s proven to be somewhat of a natural.

“He’s a phenomenal artist,” Yates said. “He’s never had any art class.”

Sophomore Kyle Houck, an aspiring film maker, went so far as to carve a pumpkin that depicts him shooting a film.

Yates said she was thankful for the community’s support in passing a levy last winter that allowed classes such as hers to exist at Oak Harbor.

“These are the ones that are cut when there are major cuts in schools,” she said. “The levy passing had a major impact on us.”

 

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