Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Five HHS students spent a Saturday afternoon with paint and brushes to create an artwork on this theme: "What do you do when the proper moral response to a problem goes against conventional wisdom?" The challenge, echoing the theme of the musical Les Mis, was set by the general manager of White River Toyota, Pete Stoddard, as part of the company's sponsorship of Les Mis at Briggs Opera House.

"You will answer," the challenge continued, "by creating your art installation on a very non-traditional canvas: a Toyota Tacoma truck. We will provide paint and brushes and the entire space of our garage. You will have six hours to finish your artistry before you present it to a panel of judges."

The HHS students painted their truck money-green with dollar signs on the fenders, George Washington's face on the hood and a binding of wire around the body. The binding was pierced by hearts and hands pointing outward and upward, symbolizing, as HHS senior Aviva Gottesman said, "Trying to liberate ourselves from the bondage of money."

Seniors Gottesman, Claire Brown, Mia Alvarenga, Maria Wallace and junior Scott Welch, along with art teacher Peter Lange, joined students from Woodstock, Hartford and Mascoma to work on four different trucks. At the end of the afternoon all contestants won tickets to Les Mis. The trucks, which Toyota had recalled for defects, are displayed in front of the dealership.

Photos: Peter Lange. To see a gallery of 72 photos by parent Laurie Welch, click here.