HHRVB joins with PA Council on the Arts & PA Turnpike Commission on Public Art Project with Local Students.

Harrisburg, PA (May 17, 2017) — Today, the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) joined the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts (PCA) to unveil a new student-created mural at the Turnpike’s westbound Lawn Service Plaza as part of a new program called Art Sparks.

Art Sparks Logo

The program is a new partnership between the PTC and PCA, utilizing 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. See the attached rack card image for more details on this new program.

The art project was coordinated through the PCA’s regional Arts in Education partner, Jump Street, located in Harrisburg, PA. The students then worked with teaching artist, Meg Davis, to create a vivid mural that reflects the Hershey Harrisburg Region.

Art Sparks - PA Turnpike Art Mural & Lower Dauphin Art Students 2017

(Pictured Above): The inaugural mural, created by students in the High School Fine Art II Class at Lower Dauphin High School, is made up of two 16-foot by 4-foot panels and is on display at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Lawn Service Plaza in Dauphin County. The teaching artist Meg Davis is second from left in the image above.

The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau provided additional support for the project by meeting with the student art class during their research and development stage to discuss the region's iconic images and most recognized assets. The bureau also provided unlimited access to their image library as the mural designs took shape.

“It is my distinct pleasure to debut Art Sparks at the PA Turnpike,” said PTC CEO Mark Compton. "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.”

Mark Compton, PA Turnpike CEO

(Pictured Above): Mark Compton, CEO for the PA Turnpike addresses the audience gathered at the Lawn Service Plaza for the unveiling of the first Art Sparks student art project on May 17, 2017.

The PCA Executive Director Philip Horn said the Art Sparks program is a quintessential example of the PCA’s mission in action, commending the students who created these works in conjunction with one of the organization's teaching artists.

Art Sparks Mural Images of Dauphin County 2017

(Pictured Above): The finished murals entitled "Vivid Rejuvenation" which now live in the Lawn Service Plaza on the PA Turnpike in Dauphin County consist of many colorful images which the students selected to represent life in their hometown. The top mural depicts the vibrant urban renewal of Pennsylvania's Capital City of Harrisburg and the bottom image captures the serene landscape and natural treasures of the entire Hershey & Harrisburg Region.

PA Rep Thomas Mehaffie - Dauphin County

(Pictured Above): PA Representative Thomas L. Mehaffie, congratulated the students from Lower Dauphin High School (pictured below) on their new mural that will be on display for years to come at the Lawn Service Plaza. The school and the Turnpike plaza which services westbound travelers are both located within Rep. Mehaffie's 106th District.

Art Sparks Mural & Students 2017

The PTC and PCA announced they will continue to 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.

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For more information on this program, media can contact Rosanne Placey, PA Turnpike, 717-831-7507, or Carl Defebo, 717-645-2265
Norah Johnson, PA Council of the Arts, 717-525-5549