Arcadia Students Light Up Glenside with Mural Reveal

By Caitlin Burns | October 4, 2017

On a brisk late September evening, renowned Philadelphia muralist and adjunct professor David Guinn and students from Arcadia University illuminated Glenside with the LED mural reveal during the Downtown Glenside Food Truck Festival on Sept. 28.

After a yearlong public art project, the creative team behind the mural “Bits and Pieces” celebrated its completion by switching on the LED lights that were a part of this work of art. The mural, which was designed based on community meetings and feedback, showcases the character of Glenside. Key elements included are the rosettes on the facade of Won Acupuncture Clinic, the lattice on the roof of Elcy’s Cafe, and the outline of a Grey Towers Castle turret on Arcadia’s campus, to name a few.

“It was such an amazing opportunity during my last semester at Arcadia to kind of leave my mark. We decided to call our mural ‘Bits and Pieces’ since it’s bits and pieces of Glenside and everything that brings it together,” said recent graduate Kristy Leone ’17. “We wanted to kind of pull it into one mural. There also are bits and pieces of ourselves put into this mural. ”

The mural is a culmination of a yearlong program, “Exploring Public Art: Legacy, Community, & Innovation,” which engaged the community in a series of events about public art in fall 2016 before collaborating on the mural design in spring 2017. The mural’s design and painting was done by the “Entrepreneurship/Gallery Apprenticeship” class of 11 students in spring 2017, with the LED lights completing the installation earlier this month.

“What really makes a mural successful is the embrace of the community,” said Guinn. “Being here in this awesome crowd tonight is a reflection of great things. It is amazing to work in Glenside, and especially amazing to work with all of our students at Arcadia.”

The mural was a culmination of support by Cheltenham Township, Arcadia University, SEPTA, and the many community businesses and organizations that supported the process. From Arcadia, trustees, administration, and students were in attendance, while SEPTA was represented by Assistant General Manager Robert Lund, Assistant Director of Support Services Jeffrey Carpenter, and Public and Government Affairs Manager Wendy Green-Harvey. Cheltenham Township Commissioners Drew Sharkey, Morton Simon, Dan Norris, and Irv Brockington, State Representatives Madeline Dean and Steve McCarter, Mural Arts Philadelphia Founder and Executive Director Jane Golden also attended the ceremony and spoke to the crowd.

“What I really like about this project is that it is so multi-faceted and that you have so many partners and it impacts young artists,” said Golden. “Our world needs to be connected, engaged, and inspired, and art can do that.”