Santa Rosa High fine art students recreate famous portraits with household pets, toilet paper

9 June 2020

(Adelina Heath)

Using their pets and parents as models and everyday objects as props — ramen noodles become Regency-era curls and pie plates are Renaissance halos — the visual fine arts students of Santa Rosa High School stepped back in time this spring to recreate portraits by great masters such as Michelangelo, da Vinci and van Gogh.

Their artistic photographs — at turns serious, hilarious and ingenious — are now part of a living history project that has gone viral during the pandemic in the overlapping worlds of social media, fine arts and education.

The New York Times picked up on the trend in mid-April with an article carrying the tongue-in-cheek subhead: “Around the world, people are posing as famous portraits with toilet paper, bedsheets, drawn-in unibrows and did we mention toilet paper?”

Santa Rosa High visual fine art teachers Brooke Delello and Janet Fisher threw down the “Quarantine Recreation” gauntlet out of desperation as they tried to figure out how to engage their students in the focused Artquest program, plus elective and AP fine arts students, during the quarantine.

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