High school art students near North Versailles make diverse Santas

December 22, 2013 by  

The identity of Santa Claus has been a hot topic recently. Students at McKeesport Area High School, near North Versailles, used an art project to delve more deeply into the subject.

Students in the advanced senior art class taught by Denise Bollman built Santas in a range of nationalities and cultural backgrounds. The students spent six weeks designing and building their festive folk. Some of them used the project as an excuse to explore their cultural heritage, while others decided to use the project to learn more about a different heritage.

Each Santa was built using a balloon, wire, and empty snack containers. The frame for the figure was then covered in plaster. The students can use banner printing to create a sign that explains their project to their fellow classmates.

Lauryn D’Amico decided to make her Santa based on the Italian tradition. She built a male Santa, even though in Italy the Santa figure is a female witch. She leaves presents behind at each house. D’Amico made her Santa a male so that he would be recognizable to people. He is dressed as a gondolier, holding a slice of pizza in his hands.

Senior Katrin Villinger created a Celtic Santa for her project. It holds a tree that reads “Merry Christmas” in Gaelic. Another student, Dakota Roberts, decided to go with a Hawaiian theme for his figure. Hawaiian Santa has a surfboard and a grass skirt. The students’ Santas will be on display at the school until the holiday break.