The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) unveiled newly installed student artwork at the Valley Forge Turnpike Service Plaza. High school students from Archbishop John Carroll High School developed the installation, which is a glazed ceramic tile mosaic depicting the history and evolution of Valley Forge Park.
The installed piece is the ninth 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 beautiful installation illustrates the value of investing in the artistic lives and education of our commonwealth’s students,” said Karl Blischke, PCA Executive Director. “Through creative problem-solving, teamwork, and development of a vision, the arts provide students today with a launchpad for success tomorrow in any number of career paths.”
“It’s amazing how art brings people together,” said Mark Compton, PTC CEO. “This project continues to prove how young people can use their imaginations, work together and create something beautiful that motivates others.”
Coordinated through the Philadelphia Arts Education Partnership, the PCA’s regional Arts in Education partner organization, students worked with resident artist, Jessica Gorlin Liddell, and high school art teachers, Loraine Carpenter and Tim Magenta, to design and create the glazed ceramic tile mosaic.
The students’ artwork is now permanently on view at the Valley Forge 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 the artist and members of the community to create artwork that reflects the region.