Woodward Middle School students’ artwork wows downtown Winslow

Michelle Holland stand in front of the artwork she helped bring to Bainbridge Homes. - Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review
Michelle Holland stand in front of the artwork she helped bring to Bainbridge Homes.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

First Friday’s on Bainbridge Island are renowned for bringing refined, exclusive and high-end works of art to the streets of Winslow.

However this month, one business gave people something a bit different to smile at, but just as great.

Artwork from students at Woodward Middle School spans the walls of the Bainbridge Homes Real Estate office on Winslow Way. The office usually features professional artwork for First Fridays, but this time, broker Michelle Holland saw an opportunity for something more unique.

“Some of the people who don’t have kids in school don’t get to see what is happening at the schools,” Holland said.

Bainbridge Homes Real Estate will continue featuring the students’ art throughout the month.

Teacher Darcy Herrett conducted the special project with her art students, a collaborative effort known in the art world as the “exquisite corpse.”

While the name comes off a little morbid at first, the idea is actually rather amusing.

It started as a parlor word game in the 1920s. One person would start a sentence with a word, and another person would add to it, and then another, until eventually a collaborative sentence is formed.

Over time, people have taken the concept and applied it to collaborative works of art.

“The surrealists took it on as an art technique that would get people putting things together that would not normally go together,” Herrett said.

That’s what Herrett did with her class. Students were grouped into teams. Each student produced a different part of the human body; a head, arms, feet and so on.

“They worked separately and at the very end you string them together,” Herrett said. “You get these funny whimsical bodies.”

“It’s supposed to be disjointed, and the more bizarre the more fun it is,” she added.

The resulting wall-sized bodies bearing names like “Brutus,” “Froot Loop Feet” and “Ghettoasaurus” remain on display at the real estate office.

Holland said that the public reception of the students’ art at First Friday was enthusiastically positive.

For the real estate company, it brings home a value they have practiced in their work. The real estate agents at Bainbridge Homes all donate 2 percent of their income to the Bainbridge Island Schools Foundation.

Holland said that it is important to see what the students at island schools are doing, see their talents, and see what good their money can do for education.

“Once you write the check, you don’t always see where your money is going,” Holland said. “It is stronger when you see where your money is going.”

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