Downtown banners to be unveiled

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By Jenny Hartley

After more than a month of work, the community banners designed by Lancaster County students will be unveiled Thursday.

The unveiling kicks off Youth Art Month.

As part of Youth Art Month, the Lancaster County Council of the Arts gallery at the Springs House, 201 W. Gay St., will exhibit about 100 works of art by Lancaster County School District students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Pieces include paintings, sculpture, photography and computer designs.

“This annual exhibit is to showcase the selected artwork of our best art students in the county,” said Christina Chastain, gallery director for the Lancaster County Council of the Arts.

The pieces, which include two- and three-dimensional works, have been judged and the winners will be posted Thursday.

June Robinson judged the two-dimensional pieces; Bob Doster judged the three-dimensional works.

A reception will be held at the Springs House gallery from 3 to 6 p.m. for students featured in the exhibit and their parents. There will be a reception for the community to view the works from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The community reception also marks the unveiling of the community banners, which started as drawings by school students.

After the drawings were submitted, elementary school students took field trips to Chastain’s Studio Lofts to paint them. Eighty-eight banners will be hung from street lamps along Main Street.

Middle and high school students painted larger banners. They will be featured on metal cubes designed by Doster.

City of Lancaster public works employees worked Tuesday to pour concrete bases for the cubes, which will be displayed on the lawn of the Springs House.

“We encourage the public to come to the reception and then walk down Main Street to see the colorful banners designed by elementary students,” Chastain said.

The banner project was a collaboration between the school district, arts council, Chastain’s Studio Lofts, the city of Lancaster and the Kennedy Center Project.

Founders Federal Credit Union assisted with putting together a program for the unveiling, and See Lancaster promoted it on its Web site.

It was the first time the project was undertaken.

“I thought it was a great community project,” Chastain said. “It brought the school district’s top art students to a professional art gallery to participate in painting. It’s great to see field trips in the fine arts, and I think it’s one of the best projects I’ve ever seen the Lancaster County School District sponsor.”

David Platts, arts coordinator for the school district, said the banner project has been a tremendous success, because it got students and other community members involved in an art project.

“It has allowed people to take more ownership of the arts, and create art that’s going to be on display in our community,” Platts said.

He hopes for a large turnout to see the banners Thursday, and hopes he can secure funding for another banner project next year.

“Funding is going to be an issue for everyone next year,” Platts said. “But we would like to see it happen again, absolutely.”

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1151