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PUTNEY >> This month, Katy's Great Food is hosting an art show of student work from fifth graders at The Grammar School.

The paintings are based on the work of Giorgio Morandi, an Italian painter and printmaker who specialized in still life compositions involving everyday jars and bottles.

"This project is one of my favorites because it captures so many elements of deep learning in such a straightforward form," said art teacher Hannah Richards.

Through the process of making these paintings, students engage in a truly interdisciplinary study. In addition to explicit painting techniques like careful brushwork and different types of paint mixing, there are deep observations and complex math skills practiced in the process of making these paintings. Embedded in this work is the study of fractions in learning to sight relative measurement and estimate depth of space. There is also color theory in learning how to mix the subtle grays, browns, and pastels of Morandi's signature style. Most importantly, from Richards's perspective, is the way the project "draws forth in students a lovely engagement with the relationship of art history to the work of the present moment, in observing this light on these forms.



To create these works, fifth graders first sketched several canning jars to practice observing and drawing ellipses, then learned about Giorgio Morandi and looked at several examples of his work. They collectively created a still-life from similar objects and set about painting in this style. Richards notes that "it's wonderful to see moments of clarity in understanding how an ellipse curves just so, or how a dapple of light makes all the difference, or just to see students seeing deeply."

Katy's Great Food is open Monday, Thursday, and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and is located at 118 Main St. in Putney. This exhibition will be on view for the month of April.