Arts and Entertainment

Coupeville sophomore steps out of her 'own little world'

Coupeville High School sophomore Aly Dehay works on miniature puppets in her advanced art class. - Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times
Coupeville High School sophomore Aly Dehay works on miniature puppets in her advanced art class.
— image credit: Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times

Coupeville High School sophomore Aly DeHay has been deemed a local celebrity by fellow students in her advanced art class. Her stop-motion video, which was done for a homework assignment, generated nearly 36,000 views on YouTube in about a month and garnered the attention of two West Coast radio stations.

Advanced art teacher Tacy Bigelow told her students that they had four weeks to create some sort of puppet video. Though it was Aly’s first time working with the stop-motion medium, she went all out and ended up creating a project that would touch many.

Aly’s video is set to the song “My Own Little World” by Christian artist Matthew West. The lyrics call for people to see beyond the bubble of their self-centered lives and do whatever they can to make a difference in their community. In her four-minute production, Aly uses the song as a backdrop and then uses puppet people and inserted facts about world homelessness, hunger, poverty and sadness to send a wake-up call to her viewers.

“I wanted to have a message in it,” Aly said. “I wanted to make people think.”

Stop-motion videos are created by stringing together a series of still photographs to produce a sense of motion, like in a flip book. Aly said she used the full month to complete her project and worked on most of it during class time. She said it was difficult to get all the puppet pieces to stick on her board long enough to take photos.

“It got frustrating,” Aly said. “It was an adventure.”

But well worth it.

K-Love, a radio station in California, found Aly’s video on YouTube and recommended it to its listeners. Additionally, the Spirit station based in Seattle heard about Aly’s video and began publicizing it too. The singer, Matthew West, heard about Aly’s project and said he showed it to everyone in his studio. He contacted Spirit and asked them to get in touch with Aly for him so he could speak with her live on the air.

“For the first time ever, I didn’t know what to say,” Aly said. “He was a really nice guy.”

Aly’s classmates also seemed very impressed with their peer’s work. Sophomore Shelby Hanson was quick to pipe up about her friend’s success.

“I called my cousin and said you have to watch this video,” Shelby said. “When she said why, I said just do it. It made our teacher cry.”

“It made my mom cry,” sophomore Emily Gallahar added.

Bigelow said Aly’s video has been watched by people from all over the world. At the Coupeville School District board meeting this month, high school Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance told the board members that Aly’s video was “an art project gone wild.”

“It really shows what our students can do without limitations,” he said.

Aly is in her second year of art with Bigelow. Her freshman year she took crafts but now she said making videos is one of her favorite things to do. She already has plans for her next big project which involves incorporating other actors and music by the band Switchfoot. To see her first video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP5mYOzOvCs.

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