VALPARAISO — Seventh graders in the honors art classes at Ben Franklin Middle School have been busy creating cardboard masterpieces.

Art teacher Karyn Wenger said she had seen an exhibit at a museum of life-sized cardboard people and decided to let her students pick someone who has "influenced" their life and create a cardboard version.

Cardboard figures include Peyton Manning, Percy Jackson, Vincent Van Gogh, Albert Einstein, Lucille Ball, Ellen DeGeneres and Gabby Douglas.

Each figure is on a red carpet the students made. Students also wrote a little bit about the figures.

Hannah Fields, 12, picked Albert Einstein.

"Us nerds have to stick together," Fields said.

Gymnast Ella Montgomery, 13, picked Shawn Johnson.

"I thought what she did at the Olympics was fantastic," Montgomery said.

The exhibit will be available to view until 4 p.m. Dec. 18 at the school.

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Annette is Porter County Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for 20 years. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.