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Dauphin County High School Students' Mosaic Installed in the Highspire Service Plaza on the PA Turnpike


Highspire, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) unveiled newly installed student artwork at the Highspire Service Plaza on the PA Turnpike. Steelton-Highspire High School students created the three-panel, glass mosaic. This is the fifteenth 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 more than 550-mile system.

“This project gave Steelton-Highspire High School students the opportunity to hone a variety of skills and abilities that they can use throughout their academic careers and beyond," said Karl Blischke, PCA Executive Director. “Problem solving, thinking creatively and working as a team are just some of these. I applaud these students' dedication and their creation of this beautiful artwork."

“The arts are critical for our youth. We are glad we can support arts education through this program and provide an avenue for local, young artists to display their work across Pennsylvania," said Mark Compton, CEO of the PTC. “What better way to expose travelers to Pennsylvania's youth than to provide them with the opportunity to see student reflections in artwork decorating our service plazas, like the glass mosaics debuted today."

The student's artwork, titled Out and About Here, is a glass mosaic mural composed of three, three-by-five-foot panels, each depicting a different destination surrounding the Highspire Service Plaza, including Hersheypark, the PA Capitol building and Harrisburg International Airport. Students began by creating personal glass tiles that reflect themselves as individuals, which were then incorporated into the glass mosaic. The unique nature of each tile is representative of the originality and value each student brings to their community.

This project was coordinated through the Capital Area Intermedia Unit, PCA's regional Arts in Education partner organization. Students worked with rostered teaching artist, Linda Billet, and Steelton-Highspire School District art teacher, Sharon Keeney, to design and create the mosaic. The artwork is now permanently on view at the Highspire Service Plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Art Sparks pairs K-12 art students and teaching artists from the PCA's Arts in Education roster. Schools near each respective service plaza host 20-day teaching artist residencies, led by a local PCA teaching artist. Working with the teaching artist and members of the community, students create artwork that reflects their region of Pennsylvania.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, please visit the website or follow PCA on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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