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LDHS-created artwork unveiled at turnpike service plaza in Lawn

Posted 5/24/17

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts unveiled a newly completed mural created by Lower Dauphin High School students at the turnpike’s Lawn Service Plaza …

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LDHS-created artwork unveiled at turnpike service plaza in Lawn

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts unveiled a newly completed mural created by Lower Dauphin High School students at the turnpike’s Lawn Service Plaza Wednesday, May 17, as part of a new program called Art Sparks.

The program, which is a partnership between the PTC and PCA, uses the PCA’s Arts in Education residency program to develop original artwork that will be displayed at turnpike service plazas across the 550-mile system.

The inaugural mural, which is made up of two 16-foot by 4-foot panels, was created by students in the High School Fine Art II Class at Lower Dauphin High School. Coordinated through the PCA’s regional Arts in Education partner, Jump Street, students worked with teaching artist, Meg Davis, to create a mural that reflects the Hershey-Harrisburg region.

“This project was extremely unique as well as challenging,” LDHS senior Misa Mkwayaya said at the unveiling. “It brought us together as a class and made us approach it not solely as painters and fine artists, but as designers working toward a common solution.”

“I loved sketching out designs and formats for the murals and using the input that I got from my classmates in the things that I produced,” he added.

“While teaming up with Meg Davis and learning new skills and strategies in which to create new forms of art, we learned the value of being a team and using each other’s strengths to create a wonderfully completed piece,” junior Cassie Carver said. “Our friendships and the atmosphere has changed for the better because of it.”

Other LD students participating in the project included Emalee Douglass, Ava Bottiglia, Laura Breidenstine, Tiffany Golobek, Kayla Hoffer, Emma Johns, Hannah Johnson, Yannelis Leon-Fuentes, Gabriella Mannino, TJ Martin, Mackenzie Pell, Rebecca Perry, Corrine Shirk, Jenny Strohecker and Ingrid Wallace. Their teacher is Dana Attivo.

Additional partner support for the Lawn Plaza Art Sparks project was provided by the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau and HMS Host.

“As you can see, public space can be transformed by a work of art. Additionally, with this project, we see how art engages a young mind to create something new and exciting,” said PTC CEO Mark Compton.

The PTC and PCA will coordinate future Art Sparks project sites. A school nearby each service plaza will be selected to host a 20-day teaching artist residency led by a local PCA teaching artist. The students will work with the artist and members of that community to create a piece of art that reflects their region. The next plaza slated to host a student-created art installation is Oakmont Service Plaza in Allegheny County.

For more information on Art Sparks, visit http://www.arts.pa.gov/Pages/Art-Sparks.aspx or http://www.paturnpike.com/artsparks.