Haunting displays in store

October 27, 1994|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Sun Staff Writer

Businesses at Arnold Station are all dressed up for Halloween, thanks to two art students and an art teacher at Broadneck High School.

Joe Fischhaber and Nate Birdsall, both 17, and their teacher, Ellen O'Neill, spent about three hours this month painting haunted houses, bats, and corn stalks in the windows of five businesses at the shopping center.

The project started with Deborah Perry, owner of the Perry Patch consignment shop.

"I wanted to have my windows painted by little children with finger paints," said Ms. Perry. She soon found she needed the parents' permission and had to arrange transportation for the children.

An acquaintance at the county Board of Education suggested she try a high school. She ended up calling Ms. O'Neill at Broadneck.

Several students were supposed to participate, but Mr. Birdsall and Mr. Fischhaber were the only two who showed up. Without a single ghost or goblin to pose for them, they brightened the large, storefront windows of a beauty salon, a florist, a bagel shop and Ms. Perry's consignment shop, with colorful paintings of full moons and ghosts.

Their most memorable painting is the one they did of a roller-blading witch holding a blow dryer. That painting is on the window of the Hairtique beauty salon. One of the salon's customers turned out to be their toughest critic.

She "just kept coming out [complaining], once with her hair in rollers," Ms. O'Neill said.

"Everything he did was totally wrong and everything I did was unimaginative," Nate said in describing the woman's complaints. "We tried to use her as our little mentor" for painting the witch.

They mixed liquid soap into the paint to make it stick better and make it easy to wash off, Ms. O'Neill said.

That mixture helped while painting the witch because, "they took more paint off than they put on," said Sheila Schlemer, owner of Hairtique.

Neither Joe nor Nate, who both want to go to an art school after they graduate in June, had ever painted windows before, though Nate said he has painted murals on his bedroom walls.

Customers and business owners were impressed with their work.

"The windows are adorable," said Elaine Davis, a customer in the beauty shop.

Virginia Lemon, owner of Petal Pushers Florist, said, "We were very pleased because we wanted a border and that's exactly what they did."

Wanda Peyton, a customer at Bagel Connection, had a creative suggestion of her own for the jack-in-the-box jack-o-lantern featured in front of the store. "They could have made that [jack-o-lantern] out of a bagel," she said.

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