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Monsters will soon reside in Lutcher High commons

By Rebecca Burk / L’Observateur / February 16, 1998

LUTCHER – Art III students at Lutcher High School are making some of the most beautiful, grotesque monsters ever to be seen.

The monsters are called Screamers, said teacher Amy Villenurve, who got the idea for the students to construct the paper-mache creatures while she was student-teaching at Ponchatoula High School.

Villenurve said Screamers are artistically defined as “a twisted, bug- eyed little creature with its mouth wide open.”Lutcher High’s rendition of the Screamers are made with coat hangers, newspaper, masking tape, fabric and lots of bright paint. Villenurve addedthat mixtures of glue and water or flour and water was the cement that bound everything together.

Materials students are using to create their monsters were mostly donated, Villenurve said.

“All of the teachers donated stuff,” she said. “I made a list of junk that isgold to us – coat hangers, newspapers, butter bowls. Everyone was reallygood about helping us. The only thing we had to purchase was the glue andflour.” Villenurve said the students really got into the project, even though much of the research for their creatures was done on their own time.

“This was not an in-class lesson,” Villenurve said. “They wereresponsible for reading the book.”She added that the book was easy and interesting enough for all of the students to enjoy. The students worked step by step and consulted thebook at each stage.

“We thought it would be fun,” Villenurve said. “They did some sketchesand worked from their sketches.”And students agree with Villenurve that the project is indeed fun.

“This is one of my favorite classes, and this is the best thing we have done this year,” Cornelius Fobb Jr., an 11th-grader, said.The students have been working on the projects for about a month now and are in the final stages. They work on them for the 50 minutes of classevery day. And when the creatures are finished products, Villenurve saidshe is going to try to suspend them in the high-ceilinged commons area of the school.

“We want to suspend them from the ceiling so they are screaming down at you,” she said.

Landon Dupey, an 11th-grader, said the hardest part was paper-macheing the arms and legs. Dupuy’s monster is green, but his original idea was topaint him blue. He decided against it because he wanted it to be totallyoriginal.

“I wanted it to be blue,” he said, “but it would have looked like Cookie Monster. Now it looks like a big booger.”Fobb said he wanted to make his monster as outlandish as possible.

“I want to make it look weird and stupid,” he said. “It’s gonna be a hip hopcreature. I’m gonna put a hat on his head and a cane in his hand.”Fobb named his creature Monster P.

“You have to name it because after a while you get to really like it and it becomes personal to you,” he said.

Villenurve said the project is good for the art students because it lets their imaginations run wild.

“They are good at fixing things and putting things together,” Villenurve said. “They need to stay busy from bell to bell. And they need to be able tocreate what they want to create. I don’t like to put limits on what theydo.”

Photo: LANDON DUPUY, an 11th-grader in Art III at Lutcher High School, paints his “Screamer” green. The students are making Screamers out of newspaper, water andflour, then decorating and painting them. Dupuy said that when his Screamer iscomplete its eyes will be in its wide-open mouth.

Photo by Rebecca Burk.

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