Weekly Feature

2015-06-05 / Education

Kenmore East art students create Rosie the Riveter mural

Students from Kenmore East High School recently created a mural celebrating Rosie the Riveter for the school’s annual art installation.

Students from art teacher Matt SaGurney’s studio art classes created the mural.

“Every year we find a figure that resonates with the kids, one the kids can relate to,” SaGurney said. “Rosie the Riveter worked well with the message and gender as most of the students in Studio Art are female.”

Last year, SaGurney’s students created an installation using an image of John F. Kennedy. The year before that, the young Pakistani woman Malala Yousafzai was the subject for the art project. According to SaGurney, Malala, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was especially well-received by the students, who identified with her as a fellow teen and respected her contributions to education for young people.

“It’s a challenge to find the right person,” SaGurney said.

The story of Rosie the Riveter involves several women, as there was not one single Rosie.

In 1942, a song titled “Rosie the Riveter” was written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb. This song told the story of a woman who worked in a factory during World War II. The “We Can Do It!” poster was painted by artist J. Howard Miller in 1942. This work was part of a series of posters he made to bolster spirits during the war.

The subject of this poster was modeled after a woman named Geraldine Hoff Doyle. In 1943, Norman Rockwell’s brawny working woman appeared on the cover of an issue of “Saturday Evening Post.” Rosie was emblazoned on the lunch pail on which her muscled arm rested. The model for this Rosie was Mary Doyle Keefe, who died on April 23 at the age of 92.

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