- Associated Press - Sunday, March 23, 2014

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Two original photographs of music legend Johnny Cash are receiving extra attention through a photo restoration project between two Jonesboro junior high students and Arkansas State University.

Seventh graders Sara Steimel and Maya Kreczmer are slowly enhancing two pictures for the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess during their morning Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) initiative class.

It is their first year to participate with EAST, which focuses on student-driven service projects through teamwork and technology. Kreczmer said work began after they taught themselves how to use Adobe Photoshop by practicing on three cracked and faded photographs found online.

Once accomplished, Steimel and Kreczmer researched the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and reached out to Ruth Hawkins, director of Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University.

“When we were contacted by Maya and Sara about their EAST project at MacArthur, I was extremely impressed with the restoration work they had done on early photos, as well as their interest in Dyess and the Johnny Cash project,” Hawkins said in an email to The Jonesboro Sun (https://bit.ly/1i8qs35). “So we were thrilled to be able to send them some historic photos that needed some special attention.

“One of the primary reasons that Arkansas State University is involved with various heritage sites is that these sites can serve as educational laboratories - not just for A-State students, but for students throughout the region,” Hawkins added. “So any time something like this comes along that can provide real and practical experiences for students, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

The Johnny Cash Boyhood Home is part of the Dyess Colony project, an A-State Heritage Site slated to open in August.

“We chose them because they seemed to have a lot of photos to restore, and it’s a museum so it is a way to get our work out,” Kreczmer said.

Steimel added work is going well, although they were a little behind after local schools were closed all last week because of a winter storm.

The teens received the photographs by email and will email the restored copies to Hawkins once they are complete.

EAST facilitator Garrett Barnes said it is the first time his students have conducted a photo restoration project of this kind.

“I’m not shocked that they were able to learn this,” Barnes said. “I’m just happy they did what they did. It’s just them believing in what they do.”


Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, https://www.jonesborosun.com



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