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Student: Menacing Boxes Were Art Project

December 18, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) _ The menacing boxes that led police to evacuate one of the city’s busiest subway stations and call out the bomb squad were just part of an art class project, a student says.

Clinton Boisvert was arrested after admitting to police that he painted the word ``FEAR″ on 37 boxes and placed them inside the bustling subway station at Union Square.

It was his way of meeting an assignment for the School of Visual Arts, said Boisvert, who was released on his own recognizance Tuesday.

Boisvert, 25, was charged with reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, and disorderly conduct.

The scare happened Dec. 11 when a police sergeant spotted one of the shirtbox-sized boxes in a stairwell. Others _ some painted black, some wrapped in electrical tape _ were found on platforms, and attached to walls, benches and floors.

The station was closed for nearly six hours while officers determined that the boxes were empty.

Boisvert’s lawyer, Bill Stampur, said the student was trying to complete in an interesting way an assignment for a course he was taking.

``It’s a case of an innocent art project going awry,″ Stampur said.

Boisvert’s teacher said the assignment was for placement of art. Sculpture teacher Barbara Schwartz wouldn’t say how his effort would be graded, but told The New York Post he received an ``A″ for the semester.

``I don’t hold this against him,″ said Schwartz. ``He looked at it as just an art project. He didn’t intend to scare anybody.″

The school probably won’t discipline Boisvert, said spokesman Adam Eisenstat.

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