Students at Etna Road Elementary School teamed with classmates, teachers and a local artist last week to create a set of 12 unique canvases that will be on permanent display in the school's hallways.

Students at Etna Road Elementary School teamed with classmates, teachers and a local artist last week to create a set of 12 unique canvases that will be on permanent display in the school's hallways.

Lauren McCormick, an art teacher at Etna Road, hosted Adam Hernandez, a professional artist who agreed to donate his time and talent to her students.

"It's a little nerve-wracking, but it's been fun," Hernandez said about his first time in a classroom instructing children.

Hernandez spent three days at Etna Road, working with a different fifth-grade class each day.

McCormick found Hernandez after he and his work were featured in Columbus Alive, a sister publication to ThisWeek Whitehall News that covers central Ohio arts and entertainment.

McCormick shared an interest in the specific genre of Hernandez's work: images and icons of the aboriginal Pacific Northwest.

"I worked up a lesson plan for my students based on his artwork and then called to ask if he would be interested in visiting our class," McCormick said.

She said she was pleased when he accepted.

"We were on the same page from the get-go," she said.

A native of the Bronx, Hernandez, 29, said he "followed a girl" to central Ohio.

Though no longer following that particular girl, Hernandez said he fell in love with Columbus, a community in which he found diversity and a dynamic art culture.

In the past year, Hernandez said, his career as an artist has become self-sufficient, allowing him to devote his full attention to his work.

Students in McCormick's classes used acrylic paint on canvases, with each of the three fifth-grade classes creating four pieces.

Hernandez showed students how to blend acrylic paints for creative effect, and the students also chose a variety of words to write on the canvas along with images such as a thunderbird, a mythical creature often depicted in the art of the Pacific Northwest.

Students were asked to think of words significant to them for any reason.

"It was kind of like a brain drop for them and they all wrote whatever came to mind," McCormick said.

Grayson Good said he and his classmates considered things they like and wrote words such as soccer, dogs and cats.

Patrick Jotevski chose Columbus and teachers.

"I liked learning how to blend the paints and blend our art," Patrick said.

Etna Road Principal Jessica Moore said it was a fantastic opportunity for the students.

"It was great that a real artist could visit and show our students the world of art through a different lens," Moore said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo