MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A friendly, familiar face is a welcome sight to any hospital patient. Thanks to a group of Morgantown eighth graders, three well-known celebrities now greet visitors to West Virginia University Children’s Hospital.

Led by teacher Mary Jane Herrington, art students at South Middle School put several weeks of painstakingly tedious work into the creation of three collages depicting popular “Toy Story” characters Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl. Each finished piece stands four to five feet tall and was “painted” with bits of color snipped from magazine pages glued to heavy cardboard.

Herrington uses the exercise with her eighth grade classes to illustrate how proper use of color and color value can make an image created on a flat surface appear three-dimensional. Students nominate a list of unique looking people or characters and then narrow the field of contenders. After the subjects are selected, the real work begins.

“The collaging process takes the entire six weeks of their art class, five days a week and 45 minutes per class,” explained Herrington. “These three figures are by far the best overall success because the kids were so into this project, were great kids to begin with, took pride in their work and enjoyed this lesson. We ended up staying after school numerous times throughout the six weeks, working until 5 p.m.”

As the colorful figures took shape, Buzz, Woody, and Jessie looked so great that Herrington suggested her students’ work could brighten the day of WVU Children’s Hospital patients.

“When I saw the high degree of perfection, I suggested that maybe we could donate them,” said Herrington. “The kids got all excited and were really inspired by that goal to do even better.”

The popular trio’s arrival offered a chance for their creators to enjoy breakfast and a tour of WVU Children’s Hospital. The collages are now prominently displayed at the entrance of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
lal: 03-09-11