GRAFTON, Mass. -- Some artists create dog sculptures made from strips of newspapers and watered-down glue.
Kyle Murphy, a 14-year-old eighth-grader with short brown hair and who wants to become a mechanic someday, saw his sculpture in wood.
He told his art teacher, Christine Crowell, he didn't like the paper mâché medium assigned in class. Others were skeptical but Crowell agreed. The following week, the eighth-grader walked in with a 10-pound statue of Clifford the Big Red Dog.
"The tree was in my uncle's yard," Kyle said. "He cut it down for fire wood." His dad chain-sawed a block. The boy then hand carved it with a chisel into an image of the story book dog, and then painted it with red car paint, leaving a hard shiny finish.
He is one example of a large art show spread throughout the halls of the Grafton Middle School in an exhibit that will be displayed Wednesday night.
Over 30 days, students from the seventh and eighth grades sculpted and sketched, photographed and printed, glued and glittered, sketched and inked, and, of course, chain-sawed, hundreds of original work.
"Many of the students step into art class with little confidence in their abilities," said Crowell, 28, a Harding University graduate who spends her free time working on her photography. "But when they see their work displayed, they get excited."
Against the white-and-black tiled walls is a series of self- portraits drawn in colored chalk. Each face has an elongated neck inspired by Amedeo Modigliani, the Italian painter. Crowell said she assigned the students to study the work of a great artist and then, hopefully, become inspired.
Middle school principal Kristen Gasper said the art show is in its sixth year and gives the students a creative outlet from the traditional world of reading, writing and arithmetic.
The art show will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Grafton Middle School.