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PA Council on the Arts and PA Turnpike Commission Unveil Student-Created Artwork at King of Prussia Turnpike Service Plaza

King of Prussia, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) unveiled a new artwork, designed and created by students at Radnor High School. This is the fourth art piece created through Art Sparks, a partnership between the PCA’s Arts in education residency program and the PTC. Art Sparks was created to bring student-created artwork to service plazas across the PTC’s 550-mile system.

Coordinated through the PCA’s regional Arts in Education partner, the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, students worked with teaching artist, Baily Cypress, and art teachers, Erik Barrett and Tracey Dean, to design and create the artwork. The finished mixed media mosaic, titled “the Gateway to the Main Line,” features 17 individual mosaics. Each mosaic depicts a landmark selected by the students based on its community, historic or aesthetic merit.

“Art Sparks presents students with the rare opportunity to create permanent artwork for public display,” said Karl Blischke, PCA executive director. “Not only did this experience help you grow as artists, but you’ve commendably highlighted your community’s many assets and landmarks for Turnpike travelers. I applaud you all for bringing this impressive installation to life.”

The unveiling event, which took place at the King of Prussia Service Plaza, drew individuals from the community to help celebrate, including students, families and local and state officials. “It’s amazing how art brings people together,” commented PTC CEO Mark Compton, who shared remarks at the event. “This project proves how young people can use their imaginations, work together and create something beautiful that motivates others. This piece, which now has a home at the King of Prussia Service Plaza, shows the world what this region has to offer.”

Art Sparks is a partnership between the PTC and the PCA. The program pairs K-12 art students and teaching artists from the PCA’s Arts in Education roster with the goal to install 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 the artist and members of the community to create artwork that reflects the region. For more information on Art Sparks, visit http://www.paturnpike.com/artsparks or http://www.arts.pa.gov/Pages/Art-Sparks.aspx.

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