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A Picasso of sorts hanging at library

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Homeschool students mimic artistic master

By Robert Villanueva

What started as an offer to display student artwork at Hardin County Public Library became so picture- perfect it was donated instead.
“It’s just in the perfect space,” said Kim Bland, adult services librarian, as she stood near a student copy of Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica.”

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Students from Tapestry of Grace Home School Co-op donated their artwork Thursday to the library in a formal presentation.
“We were just going to hang it,” co-op instructor Margaret Cooney said.

The painting seemed to fit perfectly with the décor, space and color scheme, said her husband, David.

Once the project was complete, David was “pleasantly surprised” at the outcome, he said. He thought the project helped students more to learn about art than just the “hands on” aspect. Presentation and public interaction, he said, were also important.

The painting consists of 10 panels and measures roughly 4 feet by 8 feet, Margaret said. Eight students worked on the painting for about a month, she said.

“I teach art and philosophy, so this is their major project,” she said.
The Cooneys, who both are  artists, ended up painting one panel each because there were only eight students and each one was responsible for one panel.

“Picasso is probably the most well-known artist but probably the least understood,” Margaret said during the presentation.

“Guernica” was a painting created in 1937 for the World’s Fair in Paris and depicts the horror of the Spanish Civil War, specifically the devastation of the village of Guernica in northern Spain, Margaret said.

“It was their 9/11,” she said.

The painting, Margaret said, took her four to five months, which was about how long it took the students.
Parallels didn’t end there. The instructor noted she shares the artist’s birthday.

Students made brief comments about their parts in the project during and after the presentation.

“It was kind of hard, but it was really a good experience,” Nathan said.

For Nathan, the work, which includes a broken sword and a horned beast, signifies the horror of war but also the idea of hope. A light bulb, lamp, flower and window of light can be found in the painting, he pointed out.

Alexis Piscatello called her panel “really complicated.”

“There were lines everywhere,” she said.
Lydia Thomas painted a panel that was first given to her sister, Katelyn.

“My sister was nice enough to trade with me because I’m not as good an artist as she is,” Lydia said.

Katelyn Thomas said she appreciated the opportunity to paint a challenging area and called Picasso “truly a remarkable painter.”
Margaret Cooney noted the strength of the painting, as visitors viewed the panels that formed the artwork.

“Each piece is strong,” she said. “But they come together as a stronger unit.”
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or at rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com.