Kayley Owenby and Stephanie Magallon made twin fish using cool colored paper with warm accents.


Students at North Cove Elementary hadn’t forgotten about their time working with MAP artist Holly Whitsett during the 2012-13 school year.

That’s why they were thrilled to see her again as a visiting artist this year.

“I can remember making origami cats last year and that was so fun,” said Jasmine Greer. “We’re making fish this time. It’s funny because cats sometimes eat fish. But this fish is bigger than the cat was, so maybe it’s a shark.”

Whitsett recently spent a week at the school helping kids create paste paper, which they then used to produce one-of-a-kind origami fish.

“Each student created either a warm- or cold-colored piece of paper during our first session,” said Whitsett. “During this session, we’ll create fish and they’ll have to use a piece of paper that’s the opposite tone of their own to create accents on their fish. This is a lesson on art and design. It’s their choice as to what their finished product looks like.”

The project had youngster Braydin Hamby’s mind coming up with all kinds of creative thoughts.

“This paper looks a lot like bugs have crawled across it,” said Hamby while carefully folding his large piece of paper. “That’s weird, but it’s pretty.”

Alyssa Biddix enjoyed using her hands to create a funky-looking sea creature.

“I love doing this,” said Biddix. “It’s interesting and I like that we’re making another animal. Last year making a cat was fun, but I really, really like the idea of making fish.”

By the end of the project, students had successfully created their own aquatic creatures. Some had even created a small school of them.

“I made a momma and a baby,” said Sarayah Hudgins. “I thought it would be cute to have a family of fish. Hopefully I can make more of these at home.”

Whitsett was able to visit with students at North Cove Elementary thanks to funding from the Mountain Arts Program (MAP) at MACA and by funding from McDowell County Public Schools.

Each year, MAP brings visiting artists into local schools to supplement art lessons that students may otherwise go without during the school year.