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Boyertown Senior High School - Sitting - "Shields"


  • Boyertown Senior High School Students
    Art Instructor: Thomas Dareneau
    Principal: Steve Kline
    Fourth and Monroe Streets
    Boyertown, PA 19512


  • Federal grant money allocated to:
    Boyertown Area School District secured by
    Pupil Service Director John Bakken
    911 Montgomery Avenue
    Boyertown, PA 19512

“Shields” owes his protective outfit primarily to the work of art instructor Thomas Dareneau and 2004 graduate Steve Garrison.

The concept addresses environmental issues through irony. Since wildlife is often threatened by bad habits of modern life like loitering, Thomas suggested that the bear be “shielded” from one of the products which often endangers him: soda cans.

“Shields’” armor is fashioned from hundreds of soda cans. Steve spent hundreds of hours cutting and gluing pieces of soda cans to protect his bear. Steve offered that working tirelessly on “Shields” kept him out of the principal’s office during his final semester of high school!

In that statement “Shields” represents two arms of Bear Fever’s mission—promoting the arts and creating career development opportunities for young people. His statement also comically acknowledges the fulfillment of the original intention of the grant money from which the two prototypes for the Bear Fever project were funded.

Throughout the project, every attempt was made to include young people in assorted ways, believing that the critical importance of art itself is manifested humorously in Steve’s quip about himself. Dudley notes that, “the cultivation of the arts is an education of the sensibilities, and if we are not given an education of this kind, if our hands remain empty and our perception of form is unexercised, then in idleness and vacancy we revert to violence and crime. When there is no will to creation, the death instinct takes over and wills endless, gratuitous destruction” (xx).

The Bear Fever project allowed young and old alike a unique education, cultivated the arts in our local area…and beyond. And, we hope, the project nurtured the sensibilities of those involved, generated a greater will toward creative endeavors, and effected one more step toward making our community, our world, a better place. ~jane stahl

Dudley, Louise and Austin Faricy. “To the Teacher: An Essay on Teaching the Humanities,” The Humanities: Applied Aesthetics, Fourth Edition. NY: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1960.