By David Guinn, Adjunct Professor, Art and Design Department
For the past 19 years, I’ve been a mural painter in Philadelphia. It’s an honor to lead a group of eleven student apprentices. Over the course of the 2017 Spring semester, the students and I are creating a public art project about a mile from Arcadia at the Glenside Train Station. The site is a highly visible public space in the heart of Glenside.
For the project to be successful it has to resonate with the people who will see it everyday. It has to speak to its location. To accomplish that goal, student apprentices have completed substantial research, meeting with and interviewing Glenside residents. A diverse array of stakeholders are part of the project, from Cheltenham Township officials, SEPTA, and business owners, to commuters and other students and faculty at Arcadia.
Students are involved in all aspects of the process. In February and March, student apprentices led a series of community forums to get feedback on the design for the project. Later in the spring, we will begin painting the retaining wall of the Glenside Station along Easton Road, an eighty-foot-long by fifteen-foot-high stretch of bare concrete. The impact for the surrounding area could be transformative. Student initiative and energy will be making a major contribution to the civic space of Glenside, Pa., strengthening the natural relationship between the community and Arcadia University.