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Middle School Students Dress Up As Iconic Artist Bob Ross And Inspire Us To Appreciate Art

When Bob Ross created his 1980’s and ‘90s instructional television program, The Joy of Painting, he probably had no idea the program would still be famous in 2019. In fact, the painter has become an Internet sensation. Everyone is a fan of him, including students at a Texas middle school.

Needing A Break

Eighth grade advanced placement art students at Madison Middle School in Abilene, Texas decided to lift their spirits in February 2019 after a stressful week of assignments. They needed a break. Bob Ross would have preferred to have called it a “happy little break.”

Art teacher Brady Sloane thought of the perfect solution: a flash mob with four dozen students wearing Bob Ross-inspired wigs and blue button-down shirts. Each student held a painting palette to truly resemble Ross in his famous instructional videos.

Plenty Of Happy Little Trees

Once students transformed into their own versions of Ross, students were required to watch an hour-long episode of The Joy of Painting. Sloane set up music stands as makeshift easels. The students painted along to Ross’s instruction, with Sloane adding her personal guidance along the way.

Sloane wanted to make sure her students were learning about art, even while taking a relaxing break from their assignments. Who better to learn from than Ross? He has withstood the test of time, and Sloane was confident her students would enjoy the fun activity.

Feeling Excited About Art

Sloane’s mission was to inspire her students to embrace creativity. “This was just a fun way to incorporate art history, too,” she commented. “He’s a part of art history, right? The excitement the students feel when they realize this is an educational experience and a fun experience at the same time is just wonderful to watch.”

The engaging project was enjoyed by more than just the students and their teacher. Parents, relatives, and local news media were invited to watch the students’ flash mob. They admired the students’ finished paintings as they created their own versions of Ross’s memorable “happy little trees.” This was one school day these students will never forget.

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