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Students recreate Fred Jones Jr. artwork in 'Open to Interpretation' class project

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up for interp picture

An example of a student's work included in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art's "Open to Interpretation" project.

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is displaying OU students’ interpretive artwork via QR codes labeled “Open to Interpretation” this spring. 

Last semester, OU School of Visual Arts instructor Ben Murphy gave his beginning painting class the task of recreating a piece of artwork in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum’s collection. Upon assignment, students explored the museum and chose a piece of artwork to repaint, Murphy said. 

“Once they've learned fundamentals, this master copy project is one that allows them to start to take those tools and to study how someone else has used them and then try to sort of reproduce all these steps,” Murphy said. 

No student could choose the same piece. In addition to recreating the artwork they chose, students were also instructed to provide a short statement about why they chose each piece, Murphy said. Once their copies were finished, they were documented and sent to the museum where wall labels were created to display next to the original piece of art.

Each label features a QR code that links to the student’s interpretive artwork. They also feature each student’s statement regarding why the painting was chosen.

“It's not really about producing an exact copy; it's more about learning how the original painter constructed their painting,” Murphy said. 

The “Open to Interpretation” labels are on display at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art through the spring, according to their March newsletter.

“The most engaging part of the collaboration was just getting the students into the museum, familiar with the collection and then having part of their work linked to that for the future,” Murphy said.

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