Artworks depict life through ages



Lego sculptures, papier-mache busts and melted crayon still lifes fill the art room at the Potential Development School of Autism.

The private school on East Indianola Avenue for students in kindergarten through eighth grade conducted its first art show for parents Friday.

Fifth-grader Alyssa Hull, 11, showed off the dinosaur display she created with two of her classmates.

“Me and Isaac made the volcano,” she said.

They used a bowl to form the base of the volcano. Red Play-Doh drips from its opening to make streaming hot lava. Dinosaurs roam ominously throughout the forest of green pipe-cleaner trees.

“It took a while to make the volcano,” Alyssa explained.

Marilyn Fielding, the school’s special education coordinator, said younger students were given some direction, but older students executed their artwork on their own.

Seventh and eighth graders affixed crayons to pieces of paper and melted them using a hair dryer to create a rainbow of colors. Cards, seashells and other trinkets complete the works.

The students selected quotes to accompany the work.

“You’ve always had the power,” reads one piece, quoting Glinda the Good Witch from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Third-graders created a mural entirely of Skittles candy for their art show contribution and fifth-graders used paint cans, pot scrubbers and pop bottle caps to make recycled robots.

About 60 students across the autism spectrum attend the school, said Fielding. Students come from several school districts across the Mahoning Valley.

Joe Steiner, 9, a third-grader, made a poster featuring cutouts of two dinosaurs. One is the tyrannosaurus rex, which Joe explained is one of the biggest dinosaurs.

The other is the apatosaurus, a plant eater. Joe says the apatosaurus is his favorite.

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