|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
May 6, 2005 - Amanda Glosup doesn't find it strange at all that her students and visitors to her art classroom at Yantis High School more often than not find themselves staring at the ceiling than at the front of the room.
She knows they're not being disrespectful toward her, but in fact are paying homage to her fifth period art students and six weeks of work. In fact, the room is often referred to by local students as the "art Sistine Chapel" of Yantis school due to the nine "masterpieces" which adorn the ceiling of the classroom. After all, the ceiling does contain such well known paintings as Van Gogh's "Starry Night," Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" and Georgia O'Keeffe's "Red Poppy" - sort of.
No, the classroom does not actually display such priceless works of art on the ceiling, but nine ceiling tiles do have the students' renderings of those and other renowned masterpieces. And it's relatively safe to say that the 2004-2005 fifth period art class isn't likely to be forgotten anytime soon.
"Each student was assigned an original artwork by a famous painter," said Glosup of the class. "Each tile was taken down from the ceiling and painted to match the original artwork as close as possible."
Most were good renderings, testaments to the students' hard work, attention to detail and skills.
"They did a fantastic job," Glosup brags on her students. "Nine did a masterpiece each, which took nearly six weeks to do."
Nine were responsible for the actual recreation of the famous paintings, while Mikel St. John and Heather Lacey contributed by painting the remaining ceiling tiles green, aesthetically brightening the roof.
Jennifer McCreight was assigned the task of doing her best to match O'Keeffe's "Red Poppy," while Tiffany Hughes painted Van Gogh's "Starry Night" and Lee Loeuk copied Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa." Junior James Boulger copied one of Piet Mondrian's works, and Kris Kersten tackled Grant Wood's "American Gothic." Freshman Oscar Molina was assigned Charles Demuth, while the three remaining seniors finished up with Falon Honea attempting Victor Vasarely's "By SS," Veronica Lopez working on Matisse's "Jazz, Icarus" and Kristen Crabtree painting her rendering of Van Gogh's "Sunflowers."
Some might wonder why go to all the trouble for something that's stuck on the ceiling. The answer is simple, according to Glosup. With at least seven seniors among the painters, one junior and a freshman, the upperclassmen wanted to do something that would ensure they would not be overlooked or their contributions at the school forgotten, and to make the art room a better reflection of its subject matter.
"The reason we decided to do this is because the students wanted to leave their mark before graduating and also to help make the art room more artistic," she explained.