McKeesport Area students make murals to brighten Kane center
By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013, 3:51 a.m.
McKeesport Area High School students are bonding with the area's elderly through the power of art.
On Thursday, representatives of the John J. Kane Regional Center of McKeesport and the Kane Foundation accepted three student-designed murals that will be displayed in the elevator area on each of the facility's floors.
During the first semester, Kane representatives reached out to high school art teacher Diana Pazuchanics-Catley, who nominated her painting students for a journey of artistic, intellectual, social and emotional growth.
After a planning meeting among district staff and Kane representatives, the nursing home passed along information about Kane's services and career opportunities. The facility provided photographs of residents engaged in activities and daily living.
Using Adobe Photoshop, Pazuchanics-Catley digitally altered the images for expressionist painting ideas.
“Students were then asked to research famous quotes that would support the visual image they were painting,” she said. “Some of the quotes were serious, others humorous, uplifting or inspirational.”
Choosing themes as simple as a heartbeat or as complex as strength or friendship, students looked for ideas that relate to people from all walks of life and all generations.
“It doesn't matter if you're young and in high school or if you're older and in a nursing home,” said junior Jermaisha Pratt, whose mural section reflected friendship. “If you have a friend who is always there, it can keep you happy. You have someone to share your situation with.”
Each participating student painted a section of three color-coded murals. The individual paintings were made on sheets of masonite that were cut by McKeesport Area Career and Technology Center's building construction department.
When the paintings were finished, students in the auto body department spray painted 4-by-8-foot panels, upon which the images were glued.
“The project is very diverse,” senior Aaron Bagrowski said. “You don't have just one way of expressing something. If you look at these paintings, they're all different but they share a common message.”
Joan Burns, a retired McKeesport Area educator and Kane Foundation board member, was impressed to see the finished murals.
“You're going to bring a smile to the faces of a lot of residents, their families and the staff,” Burns told students.
Kane McKeesport nursing supervisor Brenda Smith said those smiles are what she had in mind when seeking students for the mural project.
“When we walked off the elevator it was bland,” Smith said. “We wanted to do something to create a home-like atmosphere.”
Kane McKeesport administrator Charlene Yoder said the students' willingness to brighten the facility — along with the lives of its residents — shows that young people truly care about their community.
“The journey has ended for the student painters at the high school, but we want the images to continue their journey into the hearts of the McKeesport community,” Pazuchanics-Catley said. “It is our goal to inspire all the residents, staff and visitors who pass through the doors of Kane each day.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Community group to preserve Dravosburg cemetery’s history
- McKeesport man wanted in shooting nabbed in Elizabeth Township
- 5 Operation Pork Chop defendants sentenced to 5 years probation
- McKeesport crews prep for new KaBOOM! playground
- Oakmont father-son team’s efforts help add Mon Valley names to police memorial
- McKeesport student to celebrate Jackie Robinson’s legacy
- Markosek supports McCord for governor
- Officials in North Versailles fed up with littering
- Carnegie Library of Homestead spotlighted in CNN iReport
- Serra Catholic High School friary to house foreign students
- Dravosburg residents try to save PNC Bank from closing