page top

red arrow bulletNews

MHS artists create totem poles to represent family

May 1, 2012

Monticello High School students in Lisa Ann Baisley’s first semester sculpture class were each asked to gather information from family members, such as where there families came from, and their family's traditions. Once they gathered the necessary information, each student sketched out symbols to visually represent their family culture or traditions.

The sketch were then transformed into a three dimensional sculpture with the use of clay. The students used the wet and score method of joining clay, along with the use of colored glazes.

The name of totem poles comes from "totem" the symbol of a northwest North American native clan. When westerners first saw totem poles, they thought they were religious symbols and objects of worship. Mistakenly, early missionaries told their converts to burn their totem poles. Today, we understand the totem poles are more like billboards, signposts or tombstones, telling stories and honoring heritage.

The original carvers of totem poles lived in the area now known as Alaska's Inside Passage, members of the Tlingit, Haida and other clans.

View Debbie Yang's totem pole
View description (PDF)

View Kathryn O'Rourke's totem pole
View description (PDF)

View Rebecca Martinek's totem pole
View description (PDF)

View Rachelle Gandy's totem pole
View description (PDF)

View Brooke Madnick's totem pole
View description (PDF)

View Kyle Lewis' totem pole
View description (PDF)