LINCOLN, Neb. — A sprawling sculpture with faces on display in larger-than-life form will be shared around Lincoln and with the world as part of an international online public art project based in Paris.

More than 30 students from Lincoln High School’s advanced photography class shot portraits that are supposed to represent excellence at the school, the Lincoln Journal Star ( ) reported.

Students representing the Excellence Project were chosen by their peers and teachers for their kindness and creativity, hard work and inclusiveness, the way they help others, how they overcome obstacles and how they achieve great things.

“You look at the faces of excellence in the photos and you see many, many different faces from many, many different backgrounds,” photography teacher Yvonne Meyer said.

Meyer, who has been teaching at the school for five years, said she’s always organized her classes around a “big idea” that students explore through photographs. She said the big idea then becomes a way by which students learn photographic skills and techniques, as well as something about themselves.

“I believe strongly that education should be meaningful and it should be transformative,” Meyer said. “If you leave the same person you were when you walked in, I’m not doing my job.”

The class put together the poster-sized portraits on a sculpture because they weren’t allowed to use school walls.

Meyer’s class combined with the school’s creative writing class to produce three books in addition to the sculpture. One book contains the stories of excellence by students in the writing class; one features the photography students’ work as it relates to the idea of excellence; and one shows the portraits of other students.

The sculpture was shared on Paris-based Inside Out’s website, an international participatory project based on street art that invites people to paste poster-sized portraits to support an idea. The sculpture will be featured at the TEDx Youth Conference in August and at the Lincoln Arts Festival this fall.

“We want to get our story beyond Lincoln High and Lincoln,” Meyer said.

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star,

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