01/24/11 — Art students making donation houses for Wayne County Humane Society

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Art students making donation houses for Wayne County Humane Society

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 24, 2011 1:46 PM

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Eastern Wayne High School seniors, from left, Ying Zhao, Bethany Evans, Enpei Wu and Chantel McKoy, were among art students at the school who painted miniature dog houses to be used as donation boxes for raising money for the Wayne County Humane Society.

Students at Eastern Wayne High School were recently given a chance to use their artistic talents for a good cause.

Wooden birdhouses were converted to miniature dog houses that will be placed in area businesses and veterinarians' offices for donations to the Wayne County Humane Society.

"The last time we did it was five years ago. We do it as needed when we get low on donation dog houses," said Barrett Parker, president of the Humane Society.

Paul Miller from LaGrange constructed the houses, which were then primed and painted by students in Becky Davis' art classes at the school.

"Students did 10 houses. They use their individual talent," Ms. Parker said.

Ms. Davis said she selected several seniors to help with the week-long project.

"It was near Christmas, so we had some with the Christmas theme," she said. "They just primed it, put the color on with tempera or acrylic paint. What I did with it was use (the project) for people that had finished their work -- they were very eager because they love the animals.

"Some took them home and worked on it while they had some free time. It was a very enjoyable project for them."

Chantel McKoy chose a log cabin theme, adding snow on the rooftop and painting a Dalmatian and poodle on the side.

"I got to challenge myself," said the Art I student. "I had to paint small little details on it."

"It's a lot smaller than we usually work with," said Bethany Evans, an Art 4 student. "A lot of people decided to make their houses look realistic, that's what I did for the basis of mine."

Her house featured an array of cats and dogs, which she first drew in pencil before applying paint.

Ying Zhao opted for the Christmas theme, stippling the rooftop with white paint to create the illusion of snow.

Enpei Wu, who enjoys graphic design, said he helped classmates touch up projects where needed.

"I have always enjoyed art," said Chantel, who aspires to be an architect.

"I'm definitely going to keep doing it as a hobby," added Bethany, who plans to go into the medical profession and become a doctor.

Bobby Grant, vice president of the Humane Society, already had a plan for how the doghouses would be distributed around town.

"I'm going to bring them in businesses that, what I call lend themselves to kindness," he said, adding, "The first time I took one in, I think it had $150 to $160 in it -- for a month, a month and a half. I said, 'Go ahead and make me some more to take to places.'"

All money generated from the donation boxes goes directly to programs sponsored by the Humane Society, including a monthly food pantry and the animal spay and neuter program.

Having enthusiastic support from the high school was especially appreciated, Grant said.

"I think it's great, I love the art," he said of the students' projects.