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Students illustrate their appreciation of literature

Treva Lind The Spokesman-Review

THREE EAST VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS have combined their love of literature and painting to leave a legacy.

Seniors Jessie Labrie, Kirsten Stobie and Winter Charbonneau are painting murals on the school’s English department hallways. Images flow from one literary work to the next, such as larger-than-life “Lord of the Rings” characters near “Romeo and Juliet.”

“Hopefully people will see it, it creates an interest and they’ll want to read the book,” Charbonneau said.

“This is our gift to future students.”

Other paintings include images from “The Great Gatsby,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Glass Menagerie” and “Hamlet.”

The students started painting with colorful acrylic paints about two weeks ago and hope to finish this summer. They are working with English teacher Stephanie Watson, who first approached the three with the idea.

“I have had these three students for two years,” she said. “They are not only stunning artists, they excelled in literature class as well. They have always gone beyond the author’s plot. They heard the author’s message.

“They started sketching out ideas and it just got larger than life. They’ve exceeded my expectations. We started asking other English teachers to suggest their favorite pieces. That’s why there’s a diversity of images or scenes in literature.”

Labrie, Stobie and Charbonneau also each selected a favorite piece and have read most of the literature serving as inspiration. Stobie said “Brave New World” is one exception, but a teacher described it to her. “Now I really want to read it.”

Stobie said she picked “The Glass Menagerie” because of how its character discovered her uniqueness. Labrie wanted Hamlet’s image. “It’s my favorite. The words are so powerful, the characters so unique. I really wanted to portray my love of the work to the rest of the school.”

Charbonneau selected a piece called “Inferno” written by Dante Alighieri as one of three parts of “The Divine Comedy.”

Key quotes will accompany the literary images.

“If you isolate a particular moment or quote, it can lead to a better understanding of the book or play as a whole,” said Watson.

The artists’ faces are being used as models for three characters, although they switched off so they are not painting their own images. Charbonneau is Juliet while Labrie modeled for the character Jane Eyre in a book by the same title.

Meanwhile, Stobie’s face is the basis for Daisy, sitting in a car with “The Great Gatsby” male character, inspired by a photo of actor Brad Pitt.

“He could be in the car with me for the rest of my life,” joked Stobie.

The mural project has already created student interest and a guessing game about which works the images match, Watson said. “By fall, it will be more discussion. We’ll talk about, why that image?”

She credited the independent work of the three artists.

“It’s a celebration of their work. I wanted them to leave their legacy.”

Cribbage club teaches math

A cribbage club at Trentwood Elementary had students pegging a new learning experience.

Several after-school sessions and a cribbage tournament were sponsored by the American Cribbage Congress with the help of local volunteers. Three students who won in a May 21 tournament are Devin Hobbs, first place; Trevor Sherwood-Crites, second place; and Courtney Anderson, third place.

All received trophies donated by the East Spokane Rotary Club.

“They have to learn combinations of numbers, adding them together,” said volunteer Jim Keeling about the club. “It’s a reasoning game, a good sportsmanship game.”

Fourth- and fifth-grade students participated in eight sessions, taught by teachers Linda Dahmen and Leigh Harless and assisted by volunteers Jim and Joyce Keeling, Ed Weilep and Frank Hanson, all members of the Spokane Valley Eagles ACC cribbage club No. 198. Volunteers Ervin Bendewald, Bob Stapelton and Paige and Eric Dobrenski of the Greater Spokane Valley Elks Lodge also helped.

Playing cards were donated by Classic Rock Casino at Lilac Lanes.

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