Before film and television, a type of art called tableau vivant – or “living picture” – was often presented by costumed actors or models who posed with backdrops to recreate popular works of art.
Fast-forward to the UCF Celebrates the Arts 2015 festival next month, and visitors will again have the opportunity to view live 3-D portrayals of “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Seurat, “Three Dancers” by Degas, and other well-known works.
Some of Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans will even be on the move, walking among the patrons attending the April 10-15 festival sponsored by UCF at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The free week-long festival of artistic presentations by university students and faculty members will showcase studio art, music, theatre, dance, gaming, animation, photography and film all in one venue for the first time.
The tableau vivant presentations are the creations of art instructor Debi Starr Leitch’s 3-D Design classes, where all the students’ works jump off the flat canvas for viewing. Leitch said the timing was perfect with the upcoming festival for the 3-D class to put on tableau vivant presentations for the first time.
The students are working in groups of four or five to create about 20 pieces to show at the festival, from the classics to a 1937 Saturday Evening Post magazine cover by Norman Rockwell, to contemporary English street artist Banksy.
“I’m excited to see the outcome of these. I’ve never seen one before,” said student Alex Sipos, who this week was painting her background for “The Swing” by 18th century French artist Jean-Honore Fragonard. Sipos is majoring in nursing and minoring in art.
Leitch said the tableaux vivants – which combine art, theater, costuming and photography – will be displayed while guests arrive at the festival and mingle in the lobbies of the arts center. She said viewers today often turn tableaux vivants into a social thing, talking to the performance artists and asking to take photos of themselves as part of the paintings.
The School of Visual Arts & Design will have other student works from digital media, film, animations, games and studio arts showcased during the festival. In addition, SVAD faculty will present lectures on the arts and on designated days will be available for portfolio reviews from high school students.
A Game Jam will be held so patrons can see games as they are developed, and the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy will demonstrate the process of video-game design.
Leitch said the tableaux vivants will be displayed late afternoons and evenings each day during the festival.
All events to UCF Celebrates the Arts 2015 are free, but tickets are required for many of the programs. The April 10-15 festival will feature studio art, music, theatre, dance, gaming, animation, photography and film at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. Visit http://arts.cah.ucf.edu/ for more information, tickets and updated scheduling.