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WDC welcomes author/illustrator Gary Harbo

Wadena-Deer Creek eighth-grader Hunter Haasa gets advice on his drawing from author/illustrator Gary Harbo during his visit to Laurie Kopische-Pulju's art class. Photo by Dana Pavek, WDC Schools

Minneapolis author/illustrator Gary Harbo visited Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School recently to teach students drawing techniques and how to use their imagination.

Harbo presented hands-on workshops to eighth-grade students in Laurie Kopische-Pulju's art classes and then gave a presentation to fifth- and sixth-grade classes in the Robertson Theatre. He showed the students how to draw three-dimensional characters following a step-by-step process as well as how to add "personality" to their character drawings.

Harbo's motto: "Where the pencil meets the paper is where your imagination comes to life."

Harbo, who grew up near Lynd in southwestern Minnesota, said he began drawing wildlife sketches at a young age and then progressed to illustrating books. He's been visiting schools for more than 23 years, teaching and inspiring more than 300,000 students with his drawing, as well as encouraging them to read. He is also the author of eight humorous picture books.

"I love working with kids," said Harbo, after helping WDC eighth-graders refine their drawings. "Their excitement, their enthusiasm is energizing. My hope is to trigger that creative side of their imagination."

Harbo is part of WDC's "I Love to Read Month" activities.