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Art Students Boo-tify Berkley

Berkley Eyewear celebrates Halloween with colorfully painted pumpkins created by Berkley High School class.

In the movies, everyone in a quaint small town pitches in to make holidays special, knitting their community closer together in shared celebration.

Things are no different in Berkley this Halloween, where a collaboration between Berkley Eyewear and students at Berkley High School has beautified the exterior of the Coolidge Highway business with colorfully painted pumpkins.

Berkley Eyewear co-owner Lisa Gilbert said she got the idea after hearing passersby comment on pumpkins outside her shop.

"I started thinking about those movies where small towns get involved in the event and I thought, 'Berkley is a small town!' "

So, she asked BHS art teacher Stefanie Coburn if her students would like to decorate more pumpkins to place outside the shop. Gilbert even donated the supplies, including acryllic paint, Coburn said.

Coburn said the project gave her Intro to Drawing/Painting class a breather following an intense set of assignments.

"The students researched more artistic versions of pumpkin design," Coburn said. "Each table did their own and it really worked out well."

The arrangement worked out well for Berkley Eyewear, too.

Gilbert said a customer told her: "I'm going to buy a pair of sunglasses because these pumpkins are just so cute."

She said the creations will remain outside her shop at least through the Coolidge Collection's next First Thursdays event Nov. 9.

Coburn said she hopes the art students' collaboration with the community will catch on.

"I also teach an intro digital art program, so it would be nice if people would ask for some student-level graphic design they could use," Coburn said. "There are so many good opportunities the art students could be involved in at the high school level. Maybe if you put this out there, people will get inspired."

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