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W.A.S.H. takes over SHSU with inflatables

By Cheyenne Simpson
On November 29, 2012

Turtles, Bee Hives, cups, headphones and a dead inflatable doll made of plastic wrap covered the campus of Sam Houston State University as students from the art department tested their creativity.

These students are apart of the workshop of art studio history class and were participating in their annual Inflatopia. This project takes place at the end of every semester as a way for the students to show their creative abilities.

The W.A.S.H. program is really about learning how to work collaboratively with other students as well as learning the foundations of art. We talk to them and teach them about craftsmanship as well as ideas and concept, but in terms of this project a lot of it had to do with working collaboratively as a team, said art professor Valerie Powell, who has been teaching the W.A.S.H program for the past four years and has found that it has only gotten better each year.

Each team had to use their knowledge that they gained in class and create an inflatable enclosure with only plastic wrapping and hot tools. Each team had to purchase their own materials and work on their inflations outside of class time.

There were not rules as to the size or theme of the inflation but to be as creative as possible. Each team had their own inspiration, for one team the busy and stressful time of finals made them want to slowdown and keep calm.

We wanted to make a turtle because its the last three weeks of the semester so everyone is packed with finals coming in and there is all of this stress coming down and we just wanted people to go in and jest relax and take it slow like a turtle, said W.A.S.H. student Luis Gaitan.

Another team went as far as making a dead doll, adding features to the inside for students to play with and marvel at. They even went as far as having students write how they think the doll died in a scrapbook.

Courtney Wilganowski a sophomore elementary education major said this about her experience in the dead doll, It was a lot of fun crawling through the arms and legs you got to experience everything crawl around jump around and act like a kid again.

W.A.S.H. student Debbie Davis even saw how excited some students were after visiting the inflations, They are really excited and just really excited to go in there and be able to run around in it and when we explain it they seem really excited to be told what its for and how long it took to see them appreciate all the hard work we put into it and how exited they got.

This year was the first year that the students were allowed to use colored plastic and some of the students say they are excited to see where this program goes in the future.

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