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Scott Shepherd presents Michelangelo to Bureau Valley High School art students

Published: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 3:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 3:11 p.m. CDT
(Photo contributed)
In a visual interpretation during teacher and performer Scott Shepherd's program of a "Theatrical Impersonation of Michelangelo," BVHS art students Samantha Krieger (in robe) and Daniel Trone re-enact Michelangelo's famous sculpture "The Pieta," a sculpture of Mary holding Jesus after he has been taken down from the cross.

MANLIUS — The Sistine Ceiling came to life Nov. 15 on stage at the Bureau Valley High School Auditorium as Scott Shepherd presented a “Theatrical Impersonation of Michelangelo” to the student body and staff from high atop a scaffolding that nearly touched the ceiling.

In this powerful performance, students gained an understanding of Michelangelo Buonarroti, the painter, sculptor, architect and poet. The audience developed a deeper appreciation of Michelangelo’s endless passion for sculpting and painting in his pursuit of perfection. Using slides, monologue and theatrics, demonstrations of his artistic process, and re-enactments, Michelangelo showed how his insatiable passion, self-determination, and pure genius as an artist changed how the world would see sculpture and painting forever. Michelangelo was able “to see” the sculpture inside the marble. He felt it was a prisoner that he needed to free. The students and staff alike came to know Michelangelo’s favorite saying ... “I took this as a challenge” as he began many of his artistic endeavors.

Students and adults helped to re-enact his famous painting of “The Last Judgment” from the Sistine Chapel, as well as the famous scene of God giving life to Adam from the Sistine ceiling, the beautiful sculpture “The Pieta,” and demonstrations of his unique techniques of positioning bodies through contra posto. The presentation was filled with color, athleticism and emotion.

Students have studied Michelangelo’s life, artistic process and techniques and many of his works. They will write a critical analysis of the performance after class discussions. In the spring, the art students will continue their study of sculpture and painting on their trip to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Scott Shepherd is an experienced teacher of students ages 6 through adult. Golden Apple Finalist, Fulbright scholar and veteran performer, Scott has portrayed DaVinci, Van Gogh, Renoir, Michelangelo, Monet, Rodin and Degas for more than 10 years for the Bureau Valley students.

This program was made possible by the Bureau Valley High School Art Club through its selling of Fannie May candy in the spring. Sheila L. Heth is the BVHS art instructor.

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