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Westport students depict days gone by: Celebrating Edna West Teall PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALVIN REINER, Staff Writer   
Saturday, April 14, 2007

WESTPORT — Through a variety of tableaus, music, paintings and scrapbooks, Westport students recently presented life in the Adirondacks and elsewhere in the 19th century.
Many aspects of the play were taken from works by author/artist Edna West Teall. The students also based their artwork on her style.
Teall was born in Essex in 1881 and is similar to Grandma Moses, as she took up painting at the age of 70.
Her paintings capture the essence of life in the past, while her writings paint a picture of survival and celebration.
Her book, "Adirondack Tales: A Girl Grows Up in the Adirondacks" was published in 1970.
Among the local legends portrayed by Westport students in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth grades were John Brown, Judge Hand, Lewis strongman Joe Call and Henry Debosneys, who continued to write love letters to his murdered wife and was the last person hanged in Essex County.
A "wax museum" provided an inanimate portrayal of the themes of infant mortality, women's work, tasks and a century of changes.
The cruelty of slavery was featured in a vignette from "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
The "Living Hard" segment also featured an assortment of characters, including teachers, preachers and chicken stealers.
The program was made possible through School Arts Partnership with funding provided by the New York State Council of the Arts, administered through Partners for Arts Education.
Artist in residence Lindsay Pontius and Westport teachers Michelle Rawson, Kathy Bedore, Mary Mandy, Kim Mathews and Heather Olson helped in the program's creation.

 

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