Miss Emily Art: The Medium & The Message

BY SHEILA KELLY VERTINO

 

Art+History. That’s the way Emily Vaughn teaches art history classes at Four Seasons Books and Morgan Academy. To Vaughn, Michelangelo was the first comic book artist. “He painted in panels, with everybody’s figure exaggerated and ‘ripped.’ ” On a more serious note, to give her students some idea of the powerlessness facing a court-supported artist 500 years ago, Vaughn had them lying on their backs, painting their future masterpieces on paper attached to the underside of a table. “Kids were complaining after 20 minutes,” Vaughn recalls. “Their backs hurt. Their arms hurt.” She asked them, “What if you went to school every day, 1st grade through 5th grade, and had to lie on your back and paint like this, with no summer vacations, all day, every day?” Thus, the very un-glamorous life of Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel.

Photos provided by Miss Emily Art

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