YOU OUGHTTA BE IN PICTURES
A pair of pajama bottoms, a USB cable and a guinea pig named Starbucks – all components in the re-creation of Leonardo DaVinci’s "Lady with an Ermine" painting. Local elementary student Chloe Collins enthusiastically reimagined the piece as part of a challenge posed by The R.W. Norton Art Gallery.
Staving off boredom and idle hands have been trying for many during the COVID-19 quarantine. And the art world stepped in when a global appreciation of the arts began with the Instagram hashtag, #betweenartandquarantine. People were challenged to re-create famous works of art at home and post photos. Museums across the globe, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the J. Paul Getty Museum in California, and the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, are encouraging participation.
Shreveport’s own Norton Art Gallery joined the fun with its “Re-Create Challenge,” where art connoisseurs and newbies alike are asked to depict their take on a piece of art using items found around the house.
“I think anything that gets people to be creative and think outside-the-box during this time is a good idea,” said Norton Art Gallery exhibits and special events designer Emily Feazel. Feazel saw the challenge on Instagram. “I loved the idea of it and that you could be creative at home ... use your kids, use things around your house. It has really become a worldwide phenomenon at this point, and it's so fun to see everyone giving it their best shot.”
Not all re-creations are of works of art. Feazel says she has one submission from a participant who, instead of using a work of art, chose to become her favorite artist – New Orleans artist Ashley Longshore. “She went all out putting her outfit together – it was so good,” she said.
Chloe’s mother, Melissa Moore, says Chloe and her brother, Finnegan, browsed through fine art to find inspiration for a piece they wanted to re-create. Chloe chose "Lady with an Ermine," because she was excited to incorporate Starbucks the guinea pig into it. The family named her re-creation "Girl with a Guinea Pig."
Son Finnegan chose "The Son of Man" by René Magritte for his re-creation. Moore said, under normal circumstances, they would have gone to a store to get a hat and make sure they had a green apple. “We didn’t have all that stuff. Instead of a bowler hat, he's wearing the inside of a rice cooker on his head. We debated because we had a red apple or we had green grapes – so we went with green grapes,” she said. Chloe stood on a chair and held a stick with the grapes attached to it, husband Alan held a blue blanket as the background, and Moore snapped the picture.
Moore says the interactive nature of the Re-Create Challenge engaged her children. “I think they enjoyed the creativity of finding things around the house to use. Doing homeschool right now, they’ve really appreciated anything that lets them get hands-on with learning,” she said.
Sarah Duncan is an art teacher and counselor at St. John Berchmans Catholic School in Shreveport. She included the Re-Create Challenge as an optional assignment for her students. Parents and students were asked to use their selfquarantined “inventory” to re-create tableaus of their favorite works of art and photograph themselves.
Duncan says it is a unique way to make positive family memories during this unusual season. She says some of the most memorable tableaus she has seen have been family collaborations with the silliness involved in re-creating the work and giggling the entire time. “It could be the laughter that we remember right now,” said Duncan paraphrasing lines from Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were.”
The arts have helped Moore’s family push through. “During this quarantine, I feel like it’s really underlined the importance of the arts. Art has been such an important part for our family, and other families, and has really been what has kept us all going and morale high,” said Moore.
Feazel says the challenge will likely end when Gov. John Bel Edwards ends the stay-at-home order. All submissions will be judged by Norton staff and three favorites chosen to receive quarantine survival kits filled with essentials like Clorox, toilet paper and cleaning supplies, along with goodies from local shops like Whisk and Lowder Baking Company.
To participate in the challenge, tag R.W. Norton Art Gallery on Facebook or on Instagram at @rwnortonartgallery.
Duncan Family, "The Monet Family in the Garden" by Edouard Manet.
Anna Sikora in "Babie Lato" (Indian Summer) by Jozef Chelmonski.
Detti Lm in "The Dream" by Henri Rousseau.
Keegan Larsen, "Summer" by Camellia Whitehurst.
"Antoinette Reading" by Thomas Faivre as posed by Jessica Ingram.
"The Son of Man," by René Magritte as recreated by Finnegan Moore.
Snyder Family, "Family Scenes in Historic Renaissance Costumes" by Ferdinand Wilhelm Pauwels.
Felicia Cooper Mathis, "Bouquet of Roses" by Pierre Renoir.
Christie Lamoureux is "A Young Girl Reading" by Jean-Honoré Fragonard.
Leonardo DaVinci's "Lady with an Ermine," and Chloe Moore with her re-creation, "Girl with Guinea Pig."
LEGO, "Children Playing" by Thomas Sully
Katy Larsen and son Killian re-created "Self Portrait" by Charles Marion Russel.
Dustin Weeks in repose for "Shepherd Boy" by F. Lenbach.
Lauren Jackson and daughter, "Mother and Daughter Both Wearing Large Hats" by Mary Cassatt.
"Gentleman" by Jacob Elchholtz, as posed by Callum Feazel.
Katie Gill, "Lady Smoking Cigarette in a Bar with Drink" by John Kenneth Ferguson.
Yuri Tores as "Ionian Dancing Girl," by John William Godward.