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Student artist in the spotlight: Douglas Harris Jr.

Posted: Friday, February 01, 2008

Age: 11.

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Courtesy Of Jara Kern
Courtesy Of Jara Kern

Grade: Fifth.

School: Riverbend Elementary School.

Art of choice: Drawing.

Reason: "I just seemed to be very good at it, and I started to draw in preschool. Throughout all of my grades, all my teachers have been impressed."

Project: His district art project, a "Shrunken Head" in modeling clay (shown on C3), will be on display at the Arts for Kids Celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, and again at the Juneau School District All-Elementary-School Art Show from March 1-9 at the Nugget Mall.

All in the family: "My stepdad is a very good artist. However, I first started drawing in preschool when he wasn't around much."

Favorite artists: "My favorite artist would be Leonardo da Vinci, because he liked to do pencil work, and so do I. I enjoy drawing with pencil the best."

Future plans: "I do not have any future plans. ... Yes, I will keep doing artwork. I hope that someday, I can sell my artwork."

Activites: "I love magic tricks. I like to play soccer. I like to play outside, too. I'm pretty good at the stick-pull event in the Native Youth Olympics."

You should know: He is double-jointed. "I enjoy torturing my teacher by bending my finger all the way back."

His teacher, Tina Pasteris, says: "Since the first few weeks of school, I have wanted to nominate Doug for Artist in the Spotlight for his drawing ability. His sense of line and shading is precise and yet gentle at the same time. This juxtaposition of precision and softness gives his work a distinctly 'Doug' look. He is particularly adept at drawing realistic renderings of objects in nature, like trees and leaves. He's equally skilled at drawing animals. Doug is very observant. He has the gift of seeing something as it is. He notices the lines and shapes that combine to make the whole."

"He is a boy of many talents. For example, Doug is the Stick-Pull Champion of Juneau's Native Youth Olympics. He also delights me with surprises such as an intricate accordian-like paperfolding. One day he even brought in a 'shrunken head' that he carved from clay. It's a ghastly looking thing with stringy hair and ghoulish features. The 'head' watches the class from a shelf in the back of the room. Another thing that I have yet to see, but have heard, is that Doug is a magician in training. I'm hoping he will perform his magic tricks at Riverbend's talent show this spring."

• Student Artist in the Spotlight is a weekly feature on the Neighbors page and is in collaboration with the Juneau School District Elementary Art Program. To have your student art included, contact your school office.



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