COLUMBUS — Five young artists were immersed in their canvas at varying degrees — some diligently hunched over their works while others vocally bounced ideas off one another — each focused on their own fabric.
The seriousness of the task — each of these works will join others that adorn a 38-story replica of a space rocket — kept everyone engaged.
That is until the Pandora Disney station played “Circle of Life,” prompting almost everyone to join in collective song. Mackenzie Williams took a break from painting a large heart on her canvas to lead the tribal opening bars.
The Columbus Middle School sixth-grader spent most of an hour on her big heart, not because of shiftlessness, but a liveliness that repeatedly took her away from her work into seemingly every conversation happening around the table.
As Rachelle McPhillips, the young adult librarian at Columbus Public Library, explained the works will be decorating a life-size replica of a Saturn V rocket as part of the Dream Rocket Project, Williams interjected.
“These are coming from everywhere, all over the world. There’s even one from Poland,” Williams said. “My family is from Poland.”
“Rachelle, can I do ‘Love?’” Williams asked, speaking in energetic non sequitur.
Each of the works have to tackle broad themes like love, community and technology.
The five artists are the third Columbus Public Library group to produce art to wrap the Saturn V rocket. About 8,000 submissions are expected from across the world. Each library groups’ submissions will be available to see on the second floor of the library until the end of April.
To give one a sense of how big this exhibit is, the Saturn V rocket is 363 feet tall, or 58 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. Were it placed next to Big Ben, the rocket would tower over the 315-feet-tall clock tower.
Artwork from 31 schools and two Girl Scout troops are also hanging in the library as part of the same display.
Armed with glue, generous amounts of ribbon and a take-no-prisoners positive spirit, Caitlynn Mann, a Columbus Middle School eighth-grader, put together a banner featuring a few words she thought were important for people to see. “Community” is written in large letters alongside “peace.”
“Then I have the ‘Bes,’” Mann said, showing off smaller ribbons under an open-ended statement that reads “Be …”
“See? I have ‘Be kind,’ ‘good,’ and ‘brave.’ Because, frankly, those are a lot of things people just don’t do nowadays and that makes me pretty sad,” she said, without taking her eyes off her work.
“I love that this gives them a chance to be part of something greater than themselves,” McPhillips said, “and it gives them a chance to do that in a positive way.”
McPhillips said challenging the young artists to start thinking about what they want the future to look like moves them beyond their limited experience and gets them thinking about their visions of tomorrow.
These visions will share space with many others when the pieces are assembled around the Saturn V rocket next summer for display at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Link to live article: http://columbustelegram.com/news/local/rocket-art-project-challenges-young-artists-to-aim-higher/article_7bf3a03e-fd53-5422-b50b-4d88d39f978d.html
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