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Michelangelo Traveling Exhibit

Students Are Wowed by Michelangelo and the Italian Renaissance!

St. Charles Catholic High School is currently displaying a Teacher’s Discovery Traveling Exhibit featuring the fascinating paintings and sculptures of Italian Renaissance master, Michelangelo. The students and staff will enjoy the giant reproductions until November 14, 2017. The exhibit, sponsored by the French and Art Departments, features classic art, sculpture and the era of the Renaissance.

The goal was to introduce the students to the man who gave the world the lasting image of the Creation. Teachers encourage the students to look at drawings, and to draw and write from them.  The students were introduced to the way that art informs theology, explored their faith, and were guided to answer some of life’s deepest questions.  Religion teacher, Brother Gerald Hopeck used the traveling art exhibit as a springboard for his lessons, and stated, “Our students were able exercise critical thinking skills and demonstrate how our intellect, reason, and creativity can make sense of the mystery of our loving God.”

I’ve been to the Sistine Chapel three times,” said French teacher Christine Creppel.  “The exhibit is fabulous, fun, and I’ve seen things that I’ve never noticed before.”  Guiding students through the exhibit at St. Charles Catholic High School, Mrs. Creppel pointed to details in the satin printed images that you might even miss in the original.  “It can never replace the work, but photographic documentation is critical,” especially when the original is as old and fragile as the Sistine Chapel, Creppel added.

Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512, returning to complete The Last Judgment fresco on the sanctuary wall between 1536 and 1541.  Even at the time, the artist was aware that this was his ticket to lasting fame.

The traveling exhibit in the foyer of the school recreates the awe and wonder of one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements, while allowing the students, parents, and teachers to experience this art from a new perspective.  Brightly colored images on lightweight satin fabric are installed from the ceiling.  Images include The Creation, the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and the David.

SCC’s physics teacher, Shawn Madere used the exhibit to facilitate a project in his classes, and stated, “To augment their study of forces and equilibrium, honors physics students constructed domes — with Michelangelo’s design of St. Peter’s Basilica as the inspiration — and learned about how materials that are weak by themselves can be made thousands of times stronger.  Without Michelangelo’s work on domes, New Orleans might not have the Superdome!”

Student reception has been overwhelmingly positive.  Students in Art classes learned that Michelangelo was first and foremost, a sculptor.  He was a master at sculpting human figures from marble, and he used white Carrara marble that came from the mountains of Italy.  As Michelangelo famously said, “I saw the angle in the marble and carved till I set him free.”  Students completed a hands-on project where they sculpted with soap – an ideal material for a simple carving project.   The exhibit served as inspiration for many art, religion, math, and language projects at the school.  William Torres, a student enrolled in Mrs. Hart’s calculus class stated, “We studied how to use Michelangelo’s work to make comparisons between how God is seen in both the finite and the infinite.”

The creative experience and the traveling art exhibit has been way to keep the arts within every student’s reach.  “The traveling Michelangelo has added a new aspect to Saint Charles Catholic’s innovative teaching style, and since its time here, I have studied it not only from an artistic perspective but also from literary, rhetorical, and religious mindsets. The exhibit has enhanced the educational experience offered to SCC’s students: cross-curriculum within the classrooms is truly enlightening,” said SCC senior Claude Hill, III.