Young artists paint Laurel with history

Young artists paint Laurel with history

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Laurel High School art students painted the Laurel-Jones County Library with famous African-American figures for Black History Month.

Tenth grader Ryan Snow is one of the many Laurel High art students that painted the library.

"When I draw stuff, it helps me forget about bad stuff that are happening in the world," Snow said. "We felt as if though it should be our privilege to paint on the windows to show our creativity."

Their art teacher Laura Tew said it wasn't just a project, but a learning experience.

"I think they were really excited about it because they don't get to see stuff like this in their own community and on top of that, there were a few figures that they weren't familiar with," Tew said. " They asked me 'Who is this person Ms. Tew?' I think they learned about some of these people through them painting them."

The idea came Jennifer McDonald, of the non-profit organization Society of Thinkers, who wanted to turn the library into a black history museum.

"I wanted the library to look like a real museum, even though it's a library," McDonald said. "And so, they have these fabulous windows here, and so I had an idea to just paint the windows."

Since the students painted the images, Tew said she's received numerous positive comments regarding the images. She said it has been a confidence boost for the kids.

"I think that thus far, Laurel High school students have not been noticed and not recognized," Tew said. "Now, people are starting to notice them and I think it's a really great confidence boost for them and I'm really proud."

If you would like to see the artwork up close and personal, Society of Thinkers in partnership with the Laurel-Jones County Library will have it's first live Black History Museum Tuesday, February 27, starting at 10 a.m. and lasting until 5:30. Students will dress up as famous African-American figures to take you on a trip through time. This event is free and open to the public.