New Prospect Elementary School students brought well-known pieces of art to life as part of a research project on paintings.
Thursday night, the school held its “Night at the Museum” event, which featured students in costume posing as figures in famous paintings. The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students each put together a research project on the artwork, its creator and the impact each piece had.
McKensie Revels, art teacher at New Prospect Elementary: “In order to cover a mass amount of art history, what we do is we have the kids do a short research assignment. After they do the research assignment, they do a voice recording on an iPad app, and that’s the part that you see with the QR codes around. They’ve actually recorded themselves talking about what they found out in their research. After they do the research recording, we practice a tableaux. They practice visual representation through the body, and they understand the message of the art. After that, we assemble props and costumes, so they get some sort of stage experience as well.
“After they do all of that, they educate each other on the different artworks. We do it kind of quick off the rim, like, ‘alright, tell me a little about your art.'”
The famous paintings included “American Gothic” by Grant Wood, “The Scream” by Edvard Munch and “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.
Aubrey Mills, fourth-grade student: “I am dressed as Queen Nefertari (of Egypt) and what we’re going to do is we’re going to go in our place and sit still for a span of 30 minutes, then we get a break, then we sit still for another 30 minutes. We have backgrounds that match our paintings — mine down there has hieroglyphics. I’m sitting down. I don’t know about the people that are standing up, but I think sitting down is way easier.”
Olivia Thornton, a sixth-grade student, was one of a pair of ballerinas who had to hold a pose at a barre for half an hour: “I’ve got to hold my leg up, and I have to stick out my tongue in it. I don’t know why, but that’s what the painter did.”
Mills: “I learned that she was married to the King Ramses III and that she was known to be very beautiful. There’s a lot of statues of her in Egypt. The painting I am in is a painting that’s in her tomb.”
Rylee Simpson, a sixth-grade student, was covered in blue, red, yellow and black paint: “I’m going to be the ‘Reflection of the Big Dipper’ (by Jackson Pollack). Mrs. Revels told me when she found it that this would be perfect for me because I’m the crazy one in there, and I like being messy.”
“It was just a unique thing that the artist did where he just thought, went on with his work and kept going till he was finished.”
Revels: “This (dressing as pieces of art) amplifies (the research) completely. This is our first year doing it with them (Swofford Career Center cosmetology students). They’ve all been great.”