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    Students create functional art for worthy causes

    Red Team students from the Thurston Middle School’s sixth-grade visual art class have created and placed functional works of art around town as a way of rising money for five local causes. The public art project “Pillars of Giving” was based on teacher Elaine Schaffner’s summer project painting a Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation “Iron Ranger.” The four-foot steel sculpture was installed at Ponkapoag Park in Canton to collect donations for park maintenance. Schaffner said in a posting in the district’s news bulletin that the project got her thinking about her class, and she wondered if students could create public art that could benefit others. The answer was yes, she said, and through mid-March, five four-foot-tall cylinders adorned with students’ art will be on display around town. They will be used to collect donations for Westwood Community Chest, Hale Reservation, Westwood Land Trust, the Council on Aging, and the Westwood Food Pantry.