Today, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) unveiled newly installed student artwork at the South Midway Turnpike Service Plaza. Students from Chestnut Ridge High School created the piece, which is a glazed ceramic mosaic depicting area landmarks. QR codes that link to custom videos about each location are incorporated throughout the piece. This is the 11th artwork created in conjunction with Art Sparks, a PCA and PTC partnership to bring student-created, locally relevant artwork to service plazas across the PTC's 564-mile system.
"Art Sparks projects, like this beautiful piece unveiled today, are a fantastic way to give our students an opportunity to use creative thinking, problem solving, and teamwork — all of which will help them as innovators today and in the years ahead," said Karl Blischke, PCA Executive Director. "The vocational and technology students' contributions to this piece further illustrate the broad applicability of creative skills."
"The arts have such a positive impact on our lives, and it is always a joy to see the vision of young artists across the Commonwealth," said Mark Compton, PTC CEO. "Countless visitors to this service plaza for years to come will not only get to enjoy the fruits of their labor but get to learn more about the history of Bedford County and the landmarks the Chestnut Ridge students artists believe tell the story of their hometowns."
Coordinated through the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, the PCA's regional Arts in Education partner organization, students worked with resident teaching artist, Robert Zabrosky, and Madelyn Kelley, Chestnut Ridge High School art teacher, to design and create the glazed ceramic mosaic. The QR codes and videos were created by students in the school's vocational and technology programs. The mosaic piece is now permanently on view at the South Midway Turnpike Service Plaza.
Art Sparks pairs K-12 art students and teaching artists from the PCA's Arts in Education roster with the goal of installing a local, student-created artwork in every service plaza, system-wide, over the next five to eight years. Schools near each respective service plaza host 20-day teaching artist residencies led by a local PCA teaching artist. Students work with a teaching artist and members of the community to create artwork that reflects the region.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, please visit the website or follow PCA on Facebook.
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