5/26/17 For Immediate Release
In the Summer of 2017, “The Little Town That Could” is going to receive a makeover of epic proportions-and it’s all based on our solar system.
How it began-
Schuylkill Haven Area Middle School Principal, Matt Buletza went on a Summer vacation out of state and came back with an idea for the school. He saw a Planet Walk and thought it would be the perfect school project for his students. He met with the school’s superintendent Lorraine Felker and Director of the school’s curriculum, Dr. Susan Morgan. They in turn, met with The Walk In Art Center’s Executive Director Lisa Robinson and Jump Street (a Harrisburg based ‘Arts in Education’ organization.) and the rest is history. The Walk In Art Center did a “call out’ to artists, to seek out someone who would spearhead the project. They found WIAC Artist Association member Jordan Fees. Fees would be the ‘Artist in Residence’ at the school, working with students in each classroom to brainstorm, problem solve and manage the project. Science, Math, Art, History, Technology, Physical Education and Speech all became integral parts of creating the project.
The Story Continues-
Part of the process of getting this project off the ground was permission from the Schuylkill Haven Borough Council and the SHASD School Board. Students presented their ideas to the adults at each meeting with confidence and belief that the project was achievable. They received permission from both the borough and the school board in December of 2016. The next step was finding businesses and artists to help create each planet sculpture…
Everyone Pulls Together-
In January, the Planet Walk began to gain momentum. Students proposed their ideas for each planet to select local businesses. One by one businesses were on board, helping to create their vision of the planet they were assigned to and in turn, showcasing the materials and abilities of that company. Jordan Fees reached out to artists at the Walk In Art Center to see what artists would be willing to take on the remaining sculptures. 5 businesses and 5 artists were responsible for creating their own planet.
The media caught wind of the project and covered the story on numerous occasions as the project progressed. In April, Senator Argall paid a visit to the school to learn about the project and to hear firsthand from the students, businesses and artists involved. Behind the scenes, each planet sculpture was being completed by its designated artist. As they were finalized, each one was delivered to the Main Gallery at the Walk In Art Center for an Opening Reception/Unveiling Party that took place on Saturday, May 20. The event was well attended: Families, friends, artists, businesses and students joined to see what each sculpture looked like.
“The Planet Walk” brought a community together to create something larger than life. It is both educational and artistic and it will be a part of Schuylkill Haven for decades to come. Each sculpture will find its permanent home in front of SHASD, Main Street, Parkway Avenue and before Stoyer’s Dam/Bubeck Park.
The Planets, as created by our team of artists and businesses
The Sun by Milt Rags “The Bearded Welder”,
Mercury by Summit Trailer, Kauffman’s Auto Detailing & Aluminum Polishing, White’s Machine Shop,
Venus by Ebinger Iron Works,
Earth by Lori Remmel, Mike Bianco, MZB Productions,
Mars by “We Three Queens” Kris Miller-Siple and Barry Siple, Audrey Bordonaro and Molly Kantner-Reed,
Jupiter by Universal Forest Products,
Saturn by Jeff Kahn,
Uranus by SAPA ,
Neptune by Shawn Shoener,
Pluto by Kristen Egan