News Release

    May 17, 2017


PA Council on the Arts and PA Turnpike Commission Unveil Student-Created Mural at Lawn Service Plaza


LAWN, PA. (May 17, 2017) — Today, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts (PCA) unveiled a newly completed, student-created mural at the Turnpike’s Lawn Service Plaza as part of a new program called Art Sparks. The program, which is a partnership between the PTC and PCA, utilizes the PCA’s Arts in Education residency program to develop original artwork that will be displayed at Turnpike service plazas across the 550-mile system.

The inaugural mural, which is made up of two 16-foot by 4-foot panels, was created by students in the High School Fine Art II Class at Lower Dauphin High School. Coordinated through the PCA’s regional Arts in Education partner, Jump Street, students worked with teaching artist, Meg Davis, to create a mural that reflects the Hershey Harrisburg region. Additional partner support for the Lawn Plaza Art Sparks project was provided by the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau and HMS Host.

“It is my distinct pleasure to debut Art Sparks at the PA Turnpike,” said PTC CEO Mark Compton. As you can see, public space can be transformed by a work of art. Additionally, with this project, we see how art engages a young mind to create something new and exciting.”    

“The Art Sparks program is a quintessential example of the PCA’s mission in action,” said PCA Executive Director Philip Horn. “From the students who created these works in conjunction with one of our teaching artists, to the countless visitors to this service plaza whose days will be brightened as they enjoy these murals, the arts possess an immeasurable ability to positively impact our lives.”  

The PTC and PCA will coordinate future Art Sparks project sites. A school nearby each service plaza will be selected to host a 20-day teaching artist residency led by a local PCA teaching artist. The students will work with the artist and members of that community to create a piece of art that reflects their region. The next plaza slated to host a student-created art installation is Oakmont Service Plaza in Allegheny County.

For more information on Art Sparks, visit or

CONTACT: Rosanne Placey, PA Turnppike
Phone: 717.831.7507
Norah Johnson, PA Council of the Arts
Phone: 717.525.5549