Bellport Middle School Faces Become Works of Art

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Christopher Agostino of Agostino & Performing Arts combined visual and performing arts with storytelling during an assembly at Bellport Middle School called StoryFaces, a captivating look at the ancient art of changing human identity with masks. Mr. Agostino solicited the help of students as he illustrated fables and folktales on their faces, bringing to life the ancient practice of mask painting.

“The face is a canvas,” Mr. Agostino said. “This is an art of transformation and identity. When we change how we look, we change others’ perception of who we are.”  

Student-volunteers sat on stage with their backs to the audience as Mr. Agostino related folktales, fables and original stories including “The King of the Shark,” “The Tiger That Went to the House of the Sun,” and “The Legend of the Haunted Bridge.” As he shared elements of humanity and world culture through his tales, Mr. Agostino painted masks on the students’ faces with stage makeup to correspond with each tale. The masks were revealed to the excitement of the audience as each tale was completed.

Principal Dr. Jamal Colson explained that the StoryFaces assembly was an excellent example of how the middle school continues to make connections between academic disciplines, such as English language arts and art.