Henri Matisse, Ralph McQuarrie, Futura and Robert Longo are just a few artists whose work inspired students at Crest Academy to produce their own renditions based on the original work. The students and their resulting art will be featured during an artist reception and poetry reading 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 21 at Mo’ Burrito.

Samantha Bahn, STEM teacher, said the students had been studying “very specific methods of creating art” and, as a result of their research, were excited to experiment with some of the techniques. Since Crest Academy is a project-based school, the students were encouraged to experiment with various techniques and produce a piece of art.

Emerson Reed said she chose to study her second-favorite artist, Henri Matisse. She explained that she was already doing a separate assignment on her favorite artist, Vincent Van Gogh.

Reed was painting a piece that resembles Matisse’s “Snow Flowers.”

Along with creating art, each student wrote a biography about their chosen artist. Bahn said it helped students focus on the results of their research and gave them another opportunity to work on their writing skills.

Another student, Izzy Hughes, chose to study and emulate sculptor Sterling Riley. “I chose him because I like his technique. He uses different mediums like fiberglass, ceramics and wood.” Hughes said Riley’s work has inspired fashion designers.

While being a sculptor would be a dream, Hughes declared she’d really like to renovate homes like on the TV show Fixer Upper.

While working diligently on his artwork, Fisher O’Brien explained his chosen artist was Ralph McQuarrie, best known for his extensive concept art for the original Star Wars films. O’Brien described McQuarrie’s work as “original, clean and pristine.” McQuarrie, who died in 2012, didn’t work on the sequels, and O’Brien said “the new guy is OK, but Ralph can’t be beat.”

O’Brien’s chosen piece depicts the fictional town from Star Wars, Mos Eisley.

Along with the artist reception, 11 students in the 7th and 8th grades will read poems they’ve written.

Deb Bass, humanities teacher, said the poetry reading will be a good accompaniment to the artist reception. The goal is to laminate the poems and the artists’ biographies and display them as part of the art show.

Bahn said the teachers felt it would be great if the students had a public venue to view their work. Sarah and Rob Gartzman, owners of Mo’ Burrito, graciously offered up their space. The artwork will be displayed until the end of the holiday break, Jan. 8.