HARWICH ─ A unique art and history class collaboration allowed students at Monomoy Regional High School to travel back in time while remembering one of the country's, and Cape Cod's, beloved political figures: John F. Kennedy.
Working with the JFK Museum in Hyannis, students in David Alexander's Kennedy Years history class and Deb Donovan's Portfolio I art class learned about the influential 35th president, his wife and children, and his family through a comprehensive tour of the museum. Carl Lopes, artist and educational board member of the museum, took students behind the scenes in the museum, giving them the opportunity to learn firsthand what's involved in curating and displaying a successful exhibit.
Students then took the information learned during the visit and, in small groups, created original artwork reflecting an aspect of JFK's political or personal life, or that of his family members. The completed projects were then put on display during a Jan. 25 art reception that featured student works and memorabilia from the Kennedy years.
Kerish Watson was one of four students that created an homage to Jackie Kennedy that included strands of pearls to reflect a signature jewelry staple worn by the iconic First Lady.
“She was a phenomenal woman,” said Watson. “I admire her.”
John Allen, executive director of the JFK Museum, was impressed by the show.
“I like how you've personalized it,” he told the students in attendance. “This is really something that connected with you. This gives us great reinforcement to keep going on the programs we have.”
Alexander was thrilled that so many students returned to school on a half day during midterms week for the reception.
“They took it seriously,” he said. “They took the time not only to do the project, but came back so we could have a nice, relaxing activity during a stressful week.”
Both Alexander and Donovan appreciated the chance to collaborate.
“We had so much fun working together,” said Donovan, who recalled family members working on JFK's campaign. “It's such a great history. I remember Kennedy. I remember watching when he got shot. To see how younger kids reacted to what he said in his speeches and his quotes was really cool.”