Electric Realism Alive!

Truly a happening, our Middle School’s “Live Art” show enlivened the evening of January 23, 2020, for an audience of 200 people. Local artist, Sarah Stieber’s Electric Rain kicked-off the event with a life-sized version of this piece reproduced by a group of eighth grade students. With the painting of the background, they set up on stage a bold display of electric realism, which uses “brilliant color to evoke energy and explore spirited reality”.  What a delight to see a “group of happy, young people in a rainstorm of paint!”  The carefree, whimsical mood of the painting, with the students dressed as the subjects in front of their backdrop, made the scene of laughter, euphoria, and whimsy a delightful experience for the audience to enjoy.

The nine selections of art that were enlarged to fit a  9-foot  by 12-foot frame on stage, were originally created by the “masters,” as well as more modern artists, whose paintings were reproduced by hand to a much larger scale and displayed on stage by the students. The effect was pure entertainment.  Paintings by Diego Rivera, Ewing Paddock, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Vincent Van Gogh, Keith Haring, Gabriele Munter, Rene Magritte, and Fernand Leger were reproduced and displayed. The mood of the audience shifted with the scenes depicted from folk dancing on a plaza, to traveling on a subway, a depiction of an odd-dream, a gathering in a field on a sunny day, a NY City street setting, a seaside porch at sunset, a cloudy-night beach scene, and a cubic interpretation of a modern industrial area for the various backdrops.

The added effects of the special lighting, furnishings and props, costumed students, and selected Beatle tunes completed the audience’s experience of each painting. Remarks underscored the impressive display of talent, skill, and teamwork that was invested in this entertaining production. Everyone thanked Christine Haddaway, the art teacher, for her enthusiasm and dedication to making art come alive – both literally and figuratively - for her students!                                                                

- Christine Haddaway, Middle School Art