LoCo Art youths partner with library for permanent art installation
The entryway to the Knowlton Library has been transformed into beautiful works of art over the last two weeks by 24 area youths in grades 5-12 from around the county, who have created a permanent mosaic mural by working with a professional visiting artist from Columbus.
The Knowlton Library Mosaic Project was created through a partnership through LoCo Art and the Logan County Library Foundation, with funding provided by both entities, and through a generous donation from Richwood Bank.
Forty-two 3D mosaic pieces in various shapes — from stars to hearts, teardrops, circles and more —are part of the mural that encompasses the entryway and hallway by the library’s main entry doors and in front of the Judith Goodrich Community Room. The mural flows throughout the space on different walls with various designs, from floral to ocean waves, an open book and other whimsical painted elements to liven up the white walls.
“This will be here forever; you’ve made an impact on the library,” Library Director Beverly Arlequeeuw told the students and their families who attended a dedication ceremony Thursday afternoon at the 220 N. Main St. library.
“This mural is unique and gives a warm and inviting feeling as you enter the facility,” Mayor Ben Stahler said. “What a great way to inspire imagination with visitors to the library. Thanks to the LoCo Art leadership and the students for their time and dedication.
“The 3D effect is a unique way to integrate a mixed media into the project. What a wonderful way to express themselves and share their talents and creativity.”
Ohio Hi-Point Career Center junior Donald Whitmire said it was inspiring to see the whole mural come to fruition in such a short time.
“It was awesome and fun; I love how it turned out, it’s so colorful.”
LoCo Art Co-Director Jennifer Davis said a librarian had asked her how they could add artwork into the entryway, and LoCo Art then presented to the Logan County Library Foundation Board about the possibility of a permanent art installation. In the past, temporary art displays have taken shape in this hallway by the community room.
Professional mosaic mural artist Vicki Murphy was brought on board for the effort to provide her guidance and expertise for the project. She previously has partnered with LoCo Art and also has created permanent mural installations at Benjamin Logan Middle School, where Davis served as a longtime art educator.
“We knew just the artist that we wanted to bring on board for this project. Vicki is so wonderful to work with and brings a vibrant energy to whole the mosaic process, sharing her passion for art with the students,” said Davis, who has moved into a new role this year as a Benjamin Logan High School art teacher.
To create their 3D mosaics, the students first laid out their mosaic elements — stained glass, mirror and tile – onto a wedi board. Then this week, the pupils began the grouting process, which was favored by many of the participants.
“I really loved the grouting; it was fun to learn and get a little messy,” said homeschooled 10th-grader Kaitlyn Kibler of Rushsylvania, whose mother now might put her to work on tiling projects in their house.
“It’s a really gratifying process; when you’re finishing the grouting, it’s like uncovering treasures,” Davis said.
Library page and local high school student Christian Legge got in on the action for the mural project as well, and others at the dedication Thursday included siblings Dane and Delaney Reffner, both Benjamin Logan School students; Benjamin Logan junior Nadiya Powell, Bellefontaine Middle School seventh-grader Isabella Welch; and fellow sibling pair Zoie and Olivia Vogleman.
Fellow mural participants included: Dahlia Sokolow, Jediah Tingley, John Tingley, Junah Tingley, Mikel Ling, Alissa Dixon, Olivia Waibel, Jake Moreland, Oliver Morse, Sean Morgan, Addison Prosser, Charlie Moreland, Crosley Lacher, Sidney Larison and Addison Kramer.
Each of the students also got to take home an 8-inch by 8-inch square mosaic that they created during the workshop.
Continuing their partnership, LoCo Art and the Logan County Libraries are joining together to host a Poetry Jam, slated for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at the Goodrich Community Room, for grades 5-12.
Librarian Stephanie Lamb said participants will have the chance to read their poetry in front of an audience and panel of judges, and then have the chance to win prizes.
Participants need to register by sending their name and current grade via e-mail to writers.rule.is.cool.