Not to Judge, But to Enjoy!

Students Bring Art to Judge
Posted on 03/22/2019
Image of Student Artwork at Courthouse(Stephanie Warsmith Ohio.com/Akron Beacon Journal)

The newest piece of artwork in the Summit County Courthouse wasn’t painted by a famous artist — and it doesn’t depict a historic scene or a former president.

The 7-foot-by-7-foot painting was created by students at an Akron elementary school and features the state of Ohio in an array of watercolors.

Probate Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer commissioned students at Mason school to do the painting after seeing a smaller version created by a student a year ago. The large canvas was installed on a wall in her courtroom this week; the students who created it visited Thursday to see their work on display.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Stormer said of the painting. “It really is.”

Court officials think this may be the first piece of artwork to hang in the courthouse that was done by elementary school students.

Stormer paid the school $500 from the court’s special project fund to cover the cost of the painting and materials.

Anne Lackney, the Mason art teacher, worked with 15 of her third- and fifth-grade students on the painting starting in the fall, juggling this piece with other art projects. She involved them in each step, from figuring out how to make a small painting much bigger to applying the watercolors in sections to allow the colors to flow into each other.

Lackney also accompanied the students on a field trip Thursday that included stops at City Hall, the Spaghetti Warehouse and the courthouse.

The courthouse stop included a visit to Stormer’s courtroom, where each of the students signed their painting and had the chance to meet Tank, a golden retriever that assists a probation officer in drug court.

The students’ painting was the latest example in a continuing effort by Stormer and her staff to bring more art — and music — into the courthouse to make it a more inviting place for people who work there and visit.

“To me, if we can provide a therapeutic moment in an otherwise bad day, I think that’s part of our job,” Stormer said.

Image of Student Artwork at Courthouse

(above: Photo by Lisa Mansfield)

 Image of Student Artwork at Courthouse Image of Student Artwork at Courthouse Image of Student Artwork at Courthouse
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