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September 28, 2016

Pulaski Elementary fifth-grade students exhibit artwork at The Center

Pulaski Elementary School fifth-grade art students, from left, Mackenzie Brunson, Riley Crawford and Taylor West work on an art project. Mackenzie and Taylor have artwork on display at The Center for Rural Development through March 31.

Pulaski Elementary School fifth-grade art students recently honed their creative skills by drawing still life pastels of a variety of flowers, all in the signature style of famed American painter Georgia O’Keeffe.

The students’ collection is now on display through March 31 at The Center for Rural Development’s visual arts gallery.

As part of the study, students in Delilah Young’s art class were challenged to select a realistic silk flower and draw what they saw in front of them.

O’Keeffe, considered by many to be one of the greatest female artists of the 20th Century, painted natural settings in their own basic elements, including pieces featuring large-scale flowers, cow skulls, and landscapes.

“Although she painted various subjects,” Young said, “our students focused on her still life paintings of flowers.”

Unlike other artists, O’Keeffe’s still life paintings featured only one flower often painted on a four-foot wide canvas rather than several flowers in a vase. 

This red and pink flower by Pulaski Elementary School fifth-grade art student Selin Sergin is one of 22 still life pastels on display at The Center for Rural Development. The students studied the Georgia O’Keeffe still life paintings best known for painting large, oversized flowers.

The students’ artwork reflects the trademark style of the legendary artist who once said she wanted people to see the inner beauty of flowers, not just the outside petals or stems visible to the naked eye.

“We blended tints and shades in order for the art to appear three dimensional, even though we were working in a two-dimensional format,” Young, an artist who spent many days as a youth drawing wildflowers in the field outside her Ohio farm home, said. “With the use of oil pastel and chalk pastels, our artists learned how to blend and create the texture in each flower petal.”

Twenty-two individual student drawings are featured in the visual arts exhibit presented by Lake Cumberland Performing Arts in partnership with The Center.

“This exhibit showcases the talents of some of our region’s youngest artists,” Dianna Winstead, associate director of arts, culture, and events, said. “The Center welcomes the opportunity to spotlight the work of these young, aspiring artists and other artists in our region.”

The study of O’Keeffe still life paintings was made possible through a $1,000 grant from the Cornelia Dozier Cooper Endowment Fund awarded to Young for her art program at Pulaski Elementary School.

To view the exhibit, stop by The Center, located at 2292 South U.S. 27 (at Traffic Light No. 15) in Somerset, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday or during extended evening and weekend hours when The Center’s lobby is open for special events.

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