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December 20, 2010

Dewitt pieces together unique Christmas tree


Christmas TreeEvery semester Cowley College art instructor, Mike Fell, gives students the found-items sculpture assignment in his art appreciation class. Often times, Fell said, the creativity of his students surprises him.

Fell is no stranger to creative minds; he teaches ceramics, sculpture and design. He has had some very talented students come through his program. Fell said what surprised him was to have a non-art major student come up with such an artistic and creative design.

When sophomore, Dane Dewitt took on the project, the Cowley College track athlete looked for objects familiar to him that were close at hand in a rural Kansas environment.

“I grew up in a farming community, but I had no idea what spring tooth sweeps and spearpoints were,” said Meg Smith, director of journalism at Cowley. “I just saw the finished product and thought it had to end up on a porch somewhere instead of back out in the country.”

DeWitt, of South Haven, is engineering major who took the art appreciation course to satisfy his humanities credit.

DeWitt took numerous sweeps and welded them into the shape of a Christmas tree; he then shaped baling wire into the form of a star and placed it on top. He painted the base brown and the tips green for a quaint country rendition of the age-old Christmas icon. The completed tree weighs about 60 pounds and is rustic and elegant at once.

Fell said this was his first encounter with DeWitt who left him thinking this was a well-rounded kid who excels at anything he tries. He said DeWitt struck him as one of those students who was raised understanding the importance of a good work ethic and values.

DeWitt made the President’s Honor Roll in fall 2009 and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an organization that recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students.