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Connie Vandermay/FOCUS Gary Harbo last week showed students at New York Mills Elementary School how to sketch cartoon animals. It was Harbo's second trip to NY Mills, the first being in 2007.

Illustrator gives NYM students a lesson in sketching

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Minnesota children's author and illustrator Gary Harbo visited New York Mills Elementary School last week, inspiring young artists in kindergarten through sixth grade with a lesson on how to draw cartoon characters.

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During five separate sessions throughout the day, Harbo walked kids step-by-step through the process of creating a cartoon deer, moose, bear and cat. He showed kids how to add personality to sketches, and each child went home with his or her own special creation.

Since 1991, Harbo has visited more than 400 schools, teaching more than 300,000 kids the art of imaginative drawing. This was his second visit to NY Mills School in recent years; the first was in 2007.

Harbo's art session was made possible in part using funds from the New York Mills Community Carnival.

The $10,000 raised in the annual carnival contributed to this school-wide activity, as well as $400 to every elementary teacher for classroom enrichment purchases. This year, most of the teachers spent their funds on new technology.

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