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Pupils Form Horse for Art Project

North Park Elementary students engage in large-scale performance art.

Posted: February 22, 2008 12:53 p.m.
Updated: April 24, 2008 5:02 a.m.
At most schools, horsing around gets kids into trouble - not at North Park Elementary School where more than 900 students created a single piece of art in the shape of a horse.

At about 9 a.m. Thursday, students wearing white T-shirts as requested by the photographer assembled in the Valencia school playground for a unique moment of artistic expression - to say nothing of huge.

Each white T-shirt became a pixel-like element in a giant mosaic, the outline of which had been sketched in chalk by artist Daniel Dancer.

When it came time for the photo to be taken, the students moved into their assigned spots inside the big picture and Dancer got inside a construction crane donated by Dynamic Rentals.

Once high above the school yard, Dancer told the kids to kneel down so that only their backs were seen from the air, and asked them to think about creating something bigger than themselves.

"The kids were all so excited, and then it all got so silent. It was very special and moving for them," said Tina Decker, one of two North Park moms who arranged the whole event.

When Dancer explained the art and told both teachers and students that his subject matter had to involve an image of something found in nature.

The kids got it, said Decker.

"The reason the horse was chosen is because we are the North Park Knights," Decker said.

She and Ada Pham, both members of the school's PTA and both assigned to help out with the school's art program, decided to do something different for this year's annual art program after teachers expressed indifference about pursuing "the same old thing."

The two art moms went online and found Daniel Dancer.

"We really wanted to try something different this year. That's when we decided to have Mr. Dancer," Decker said. "The more we looked into the thing the more we liked it.

"Nothing like that has been done before."

Dancer is a conceptual artist who, according to the biography on his Web site, became fascinated with sky art while traveling in South America.

His Web site describes exactly what his art is all about: "Giant living paintings made of people."


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