FIRE SPARKS CREATIVITY
September 20, 2002 11:00 pm
Drawing by Sabrina Leach ().
Drawing by Sabrina Leach ().

By Susan Schell

Pilot Staff Writer

Fire crews visiting Curry County to battle the Biscuit Fire received an outpouring of gratitude from the community.

Brookings-Harbor High School students expressed their feelings about the fire with art. The students in Chuck Fenner's art class created colorful drawings depicting flames consuming the forest, firefighters at work and wildlife fleeing for their lives.

One picture showed a deer with a tear in one eye. Another depicted woodland animals standing on the edge of a burned out forest holding a single red rose.

Art teacher Chuck Fenner had his students create the drawings for their first project of the school year.

"I thought it was important that my students knew and understood that this is an historic event," he said.

"At the beginning of the year we start out with some creative project without a lot of technical instruction and talking.

"We present them with a problem to get the creative juices flowing.

"From that point on, they developed their own ideas and came up with solutions to the problem, which was to make a visual statement about this historic forest fire."

Fenner emphasizes the power of visualization.

"When you say the words ‘forest fire,' everybody sees something different. I told the students to just draw what they saw. Each one took a different approach."

See Display, Page 3BErica Enriquez drew a portrait of a pair of hands cradling a home in the middle of the forest. Enriquez said that during the fire, firefighters came to her home up Carpenterville Road.

"They came to our house to see how close the fire was and asked us how we were," she said.

Enriquez said she felt sad about the fire at first, but was then happy people were protecting the homes.

Another artist, Sabrina Leach, said she was angry about the fire at first, because she heard a rumor that they were set deliberately.

Leach's project portrayed a deer wearing goggles and a parachute jumping in front of a waterfall.

"He's jumping off the cliff to get away from the fire," Leach said.

"He's a smart deer. I'm into sports so I'd thought I'd do something creative. My sister gave me the idea to do something sporty."

The students' artwork is currently on display at Wild River Pizza.