Woolaroc Museum shows Bartlesville High School class painting

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A freshman art class at Bartlesville High School receives recognition for a project they completed as a group.

The class’s painting is on display at the Woolaroc Museum.

Related story: Artwork by Bartlesville students now on display at the Woolaroc Museum

After weeks of painting, art students in Bartlesville got a little more than an A for homework.

“I was a little shocked,” said Bartlesville High School student Erick Melendez. “I didn’t expect a school project like this to be in a museum.”

The painting is based on the mural Custer’s Last Fight by William R. Leigh, also on display in the museum.

Each student replicated part of the original painting and assembled everything into square canvases.

Lea Burke is one of the art teachers at Bartlesville High and said she hopes students could get something more valuable out of the project than just a grade.

“I love this for newbies,” Burke said. “I love it when they work on something bigger…physically bigger than themselves. What a lesson. You have to work on things that are bigger than themselves.”

Shiloh Thurman, director of the Woolaroc Museum, said recreating the original piece was a daunting task and when he saw what the students had made he was amazed.

“It takes a lot of determination, a lot of hard work, a lot of teamwork and just insane artistic ability to tackle a project like this,” Thurman said.

Museum directors, through the partnership with Bartlesville Public Schools, say this won’t be the last time a student mural will hang on the wall.

“We have this collection here that can inspire them to go beyond themselves and develop this passion for art and history and all that we have to offer here. This is just one of many in the future we have in partnership with local students,” said museum CEO Kevin Hoch.

The painting will be on display at the museum until June 30.

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