Over the past five years, CASCADE SCHOOL SUPPLIIES has sponsored Drury High School Art Students to create large replicas of famous masterpieces ranging from Picasso to Monet, from Renaissance to Pop Art, from subjects such as Mona Lisa to Rosie the Riveter. Most of these artworks are part of permanent collections of museums such as The Clark Art Institute, MOMA, and the Louvre to name a few.
In 2011, President Peter Cote and Vice President Todd Shafer approached Drury High School Art Instructor, Phoebe Pepper about painting boards that would enhance the Cascade building on Brown Street in North Adams. As North Adams is such so richly infused with both public and private artistic endeavors, they decided to pay tribute to great artists of all times. The project was so successful, that it has been continued year to year with a great reception from the public.
Every year since its inception, advanced art students at Drury ask Ms. Pepper if they will get to paint a painting for Cascade. As early as September, they begin to consider which ones haven’t been attempted that they appreciate and that meet the criteria of world-famous and respected artwork.
Just as art students in college grow from copying famous artworks, Ms Pepper’s and Mrs. Wildermuth’s students learned many lessons before and throughout the arduous process. They learned to identify which images are truest to the original, how to prepare the surface, grid and enlarge the image they were working from, and finally replicate the colors and style of the artist they had chosen.
It is noteworthy that Cascade School Supplies has paid for all the materials and also donated $1,000 in supplies to support our visual arts program every year of this ongoing project. No other local business has done so much to promote student produced public art: however, it must be said that Mass MoCa and Waterman Excavating (of Adams Ma.) lent Cascade their equipment lifts to install the paintings on the upper levels. We hope that other art supply companies and communities will be inspired by our project.