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St. Agnes School students recreate works of art at home

Original works of art are pictured with their recreations by St. Agnes School students (top left to bottom right) Grace Porcaro, grade five; Genaro LaVerde, grade one; siblings Ryan Shabouk, grade two, Juliana Shabouk, grade six and Robert Shabouk, grade eight; and Sabine Ramey, grade three. Photos courtesy St. Agnes School

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ARLINGTON -- Early in May, St. Agnes School art teacher Ann Greeley issued a new challenge for her students to work on from home: recreate a famous work of art, either by taking a photograph similar to the art's subject, or by drawing or painting their own version of the work.

Greeley, who has taught art and library at St. Agnes School for five years, said she and principal Caitlin Oglesby had seen similar projects online.

Speaking to The Pilot on May 11, Greeley said she "thought it was a fun, interactive, different, out-of-the-box type of thing."

She decided to make it a challenge for all St. Agnes School students, from K0 through grade eight, who have been using remote learning since schools closed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. For students who decided to participate, the project could be incorporated into their final grades. However, Greeley wanted it to be fun and not put pressure on them as an extra assignment.

"The key was to have fun, and they did, and I'm really pleased with the results of it," she said.

Many students dressed up and posed for photographs as the subjects of famous portraits, including Johannes Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring," Edward Degas' ballerina "The Star," and Norman Rockwell's "Four Sporting Boys." Grade eight student Gillian Ambrosia wore her grandmother's wedding dress to recreate Edward Hopper's "Girl at Sewing Machine." Second grader Olivia Sylvestre recreated Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" with Barbie dolls. Other students drew or painted their own versions of abstract works of art.

Greeley said the project was "well received" and that she has heard positive feedback from both students and parents.

"Students have commented it gave them a different perspective on the painting and how much goes into one," Greeley said.

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