A local art teacher has for years taught students and adults about how to tap into their creativity to make personal works.
For a change of pace, though, Karen Chilman wanted her adult students to do their best to be unoriginal and copy the works of famous artists.
The results of their “skulduggery” will be on display at A Perfect Day Cafe in North Vernon throughout August.
Chilman is an art teacher at Jennings County High School and also operates Swirlz Studio in Commiskey, where she offers art classes outside of school hours. She’s known for finding methods of teaching art in interesting ways.
Story continues below gallery
After reading the story of an internationally famous masterpiece forger who had been released from prison, Chilman thought it would be fun to give her adult Swirlz class students the opportunity to explore the world of art forgery.
“First, we called it a forgery party but, we decided the term forgery was a bit rough, so we changed it to replicating,” she said.
The “replicating party” began in the spring at Swirlz. Each student was asked to select three of their favorite artists. Chilman then selected one and assigned each of the students to study the techniques of their selected artist and then pick one of the artist’s works to replicate.
“They were given three hours to try to paint an exact replica of their chosen masterpiece. It was pretty amazing what they came up with,” Chilman said.
The project went so well, that Chilman said she took the project a step further. Instead of replicating a work, she asked the students to imagine what their artist might have painted next and create a new painting using the same artist’s techniques.
“As it happens, the majority of students in this particular class are also teachers themselves and some involved their own students in helping to decide what the artist might have wanted to paint next. I like that because it spreads interest in art around,” Chilman said.
Chilman has taught art for 30 years and is known for finding creative ways to teach it. She also conducts an art camp for young students every summer, leads her high school students in painting public murals seen across Jennings County and initiates a number of other art-related projects.
Recently, she established an art gallery in the Stellar Building on Short Street. The gallery will display the work of advanced high school art students as well as artists in the community. Chilman also plans to offer yoga classes in the Stellar building.
Two students, Jaqueline Bondowski and Shelly McClain, will display their work at the Stellar Building while the work of eight artists, including Chilman, will be on display at A Perfect Day Cafe.
The other artists on display at the cafe through the end of the month include Stacie Burns, Sarah Dillon, Charlinda Evans, Jessica Floyd, Debby Jackson, Theresa Ragsdale and Trish Speer.
The displays will include replicas of nine different art masters as well as original paintings of imagined work of each of the masters.
The public is invited to visit the display during normal hours of business, and no purchase is required.
What: Works of famous artists replicated by local artists, and imagined works of the masters on display
When: During normal business hours at A Perfect Day Cafe, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Where: A Perfect Day Cafe, 221 E. Walnut St., North Vernon