By SOFIA LYNCH
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, Washtenaw Community College students are getting in the holiday spirit and gearing up to give back. For WCC Instructor Belinda McGuire’s 3-D design class, giving back to the community and complementing the class curriculum can be simultaneously achieved.
“The study is, of course, 3-D design as it applies to all arts,” McGuire said. “We make all kinds of things to explore materials, but this particular thing really was initiated by the students because we were talking about how can art apply to the community and what we can give back. And we came up with this idea.”
The project that resulted was a universal, fall-favorite activity: pumpkin carving. Pumpkin carving uses a subtractive process, which is a procedure a 3-D design class will utilize often.
“It’s a subtractive process, carving is part of 3-D art, same as Michelangelo’s David was carved,” McGuire said.
The class decided that they wanted to give the carved pumpkins as decorations to a local nursing home, the Ypsilanti Senior/Community Center. The class’ donations go beyond just decorations as well. The innards of the pumpkins will be given to McGuire’s cows to eat. Also once the pumpkins have withered, the senior center will use them in their compost, which will hopefully sprout pumpkins the following year.
“It’s the community college students putting their work back into the community,” McGuire said.
The students all cited the avid class discussions that “sporadically” transpire as the reason the idea came to life. The class supported the cost of the pumpkins and brought in the tools to make them, as well as all the supplies to sustain the artists.
“We have a lot of open discussions in this class and we talk about things as a group,” said 39-year-old Christy King from Whitmore Lake. “Somebody will have an idea and the next thing you know, we’re all bringing cake and doughnuts and coffee.”
Discussions like these create a spirit of togetherness amongst the classmates.
“Everybody sort of knows each other and talks to each other… There’s a real sense of camaraderie when it comes to this class and that’s why I really appreciate it,” said 19-year-old 3-D animation major Cameron Tripp.
The class got to benefit from their philanthropy not only because they could get together with friends and give back, but because they learned and had fun along the way.
“Any time you can do something that you enjoy that other people can also enjoy, it makes you feel good about yourself, and happy,” King said.