Project Highlights

2018 - 2019

Pittsburgh Beechwood PreK - 5

Students at Pittsburgh Beechwood PreK - 5 enjoyed another year of immersive Artist Residency Projects, with students in every grade level participarting, and over 600 students, teachers, families, and staff engaged and impacted by the creative process. Pittsburgh Beechwood has been implementing Residency Projects since 2007!

Kindergarten students worked with Resident Artist Alison Zapata on a 60-day Long Term Residency Project, a unique project model that allows for a more in-depth collaboration between Lead Teacher and Teaching Artist. An LTR provides additional structure, planning time, experiences, and reflection time to implement comprehensive arts integration programming. Kindergarteners had unique opportunities to show what they're learning, creating self-portraits, learning about Pittsburgh photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris, and exploring music and dance with several visiting artists.

First grade students worked with Resident Artist Lindsay Woge to explore ideas related to empathy, with each student creating a "mood loom," weaving fibers symbolic of emotions over time. Short-term activities such as journaling, discussions, and games developed prosocial, team-building skills. The students' culminating project was inspired by contemporary artist Gwen Murphy's shoe sculptures, with students creating sculptures of their own, reflective of the phrase "walking in someone else's shoes" to further enage with how our emotions can look like on the outside and feel on the inside.

2nd grade students created an Art Garden installation with Resident Artist Joanna Abel. They designed flowers inspired by Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures and included pollinators including bees, butterflies, bats, and hummingbirds. Students explored garden inhabitants through drawing, dance, movement, and even through coding, as students collaborated with CMU CREATE Lab's Flutter-based robots, which they programmed to move through the sculpture in response to the loudness of the school environment.

3rd grade students studied cityscapes with Resident Artist Maritza Mosquera as they explored various media including collage, watercolor, drawing, and screenprinting. Entitled OUR SKY MAGIC and LINE: skymagic-skyline, the project was inspired by artists Marc Chagall and Faith Ringgold and the hilly neighborhoods and scenic vistas of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Beechwood is located in Pittsburgh's Beechview neighborhood, an exemplar of a picturesque mountainous neighborhood.

Inspired by the concepts of remembering, saving, and collecting, 4th grade students worked with Resident Artist Lindsay Woge to construct Peruvian retablo boxes, thoughtfully arranged with found objects, painting, and sculpture to convey and important idea, wish, or memory. Journaling, creative writing, and skits inspired by school-year memories supported the art making process, and a visit to the Carnegie International exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art inspired students' interests in these themes.

While reading The Road to Freedom, 5th grade students worked with Resident Artist Tina Williams Brewer to learn about the rich and significant histories of African cultures prior to the disapora. Students created individual fiber dream/prayer packets using Adinkra symbols and collaborated to make legacy quilt panels symbolizing the stories and passages of those who came before.

Pittsburgh Beechwood students of all ages participated in an after-school interdisciplinary Residency Project with Resident Artists Alison Zapata and Geña Nieves in partnership with the Latino Community Center. Utilizing visual arts, music, and movement, the primary goal of the project was to help Latino students develop knowledge and understanading of their native countries, in addition to pride in their heritage. The Teaching Artists also integrated topics from students' grade level curricula and general English Language Arts to help increase literacy and learning.


Ambridge Area Middle School

In Beaver County, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders worked with Teaching Artist/Fiber Artist LaVerne Kemp and Art Teacher Jamie Zbrzezny to create a pair of incredible weavings to adorn the school's auditorium stage.

The students utilized colorful fibers while using the floor loom to create many, many feet of beautiful woven fiber art. Students learned to weave on a smaller scale as well as they created small personal weavings on cardboard looms. Later, they learned how to hand stitch and how to felt wool and were able to incorporate their felted creations into the final piece as well. Many hands created an incredible outcome!



Ringgold Elementary School South

Fourth grade students in Ringgold School District in Washington County created collaborative "crankies" to illustrate the environmental sustainability and harmony, specifically focusing on the life cycles of insects, plants, and trout!

Resident Artist and "Paper Lady" Katy DeMent introduced the students to this unique story telling medium, incorporating drawing, painting, printing, and collage.

2017 - 2018

Pittsburgh Linden K-5

2017-2018 is year fifteen of Teaching Artist Tina Brewer working and creating with Pittsburgh Linden Art Teacher Deborah Lieberman!

This year Ms. Lieberman's 2nd and 4th grade students investigated concepts such as empathy using symbols, colors, and patterns to explore cultural commonalities and personal meanings with fabric and stitchery.

They learned the history and use of the Lukasa memory board and how symbols and stories traveled through the diaspora, while also learning how to create patchwork appliqué using running, blanket, and overcast stitches.

Pittsburgh Linden is a whole school language elementary Magnet located in Point Breeze. Students learn to read, write, and speak either Mandarin Chinese or German and experience the infusion of cultures through daily activities and celebrations.






Upper St. Clair High School

Forty high school sophomores explored community building, group problem solving, dialogue and discussion, and alternative methods of communication while integrating the arts with social studies, English, and world history during their thirteen-day Project with Resident Artist Tom Sarver.

The students' collaborative brainstorming, research, flexiblity, and ingenuity culminated in the creation of THE BOX or Finding Common Ground in a Complex Galaxy, a multi-faceted installation in the school's main lobby.

The Residency was complemented by a visit from Attack Theatre, whose artists responded to works of art through 3D modeling and kinesthetics and a field trip to the Carnegie Musuem of Art to see artwork through the lens of history.

Riverview Junior/Senior High School

We are thrilled to be partnering with Riverview Junior/Senior High School in Oakmont as part of Art Sparks, a partnership between the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Art Sparks aims to install a local, student-created piece of art in every Turnpike Service Plaza over the next five years. Resident Artist Laura Jean McLaughlin is working with students in Glenn Garrison’s art classes to create a ceramic mosaic mural to be installed at the Oakmont Plum Service Plaza. The school serves the boroughs of Oakmont and Verona.

The students collaboratively brainstormed about what regional history to depict in their mural, including Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania architecture, industry, sports, and people. See what local legends and landmarks you can spot in progress during Riverview’s Community Engagement Night, and visit the completed 9x17.5’ mural in mid-November!

Visit the first Art Sparks project the next time you're in Eastern Pennsylvania - a painted mural at the Lawn Service Plaza created by students at Lower Dauphin High School with Resident Artist Meg Davis in May 2017.

Thanks to PF/PCA's Molly Duerig for the Community Night photos!

Read more about the Residency Project in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

And watch this great video on Kidsburgh, hosted by KDKA's Kristine Sorensen!



Art Sparks




IU1 Campus at Waynesburg

Resident Artist Lindsay Woge partnered with IU1 Principal/Supervisor of Special Education Kristin Szewczyk to create a permanent art installation at the IU1's new home in Waynesburg.

Artists in every grade level collaborated to create the sensory mural, designed to appeal to the senses of touch, sight, and sound. Students integrated reclaimed materials, including dismantled wood shelving, water and soda bottles, recycled cardboard and paper, outdated carpet and fabric samples, scrap bamboo, and salvaged bottle caps and lids. The learners explored concepts of sustainability and creative reuse while celebrating the new recycling initiative at the IU1 campus!

Blueprints - Waynesburg & Carmichaels

Also, in Greene County, Resident Artists Maritza Mosquera, Connie MerrimanKaty DeMent, and Lindsay Huff partnered with Blueprints (formerly Community Action Southwest) Director Stacy Stroman, and Site Supervisors Bridget Dennison and Tina Raber to offer art making opportunities to area senior citizens.

In "Your Place at the Table," Maritza Mosquera combined storytelling, cooking and celebration with drawing, painting, and printmaking for a deliciously interdisciplinary art experience.

Connie Merriman explored painting techniques in Carmichaels as participants explored landscape, still life, and self-portraiture.

Katy DeMent shared the art of papermaking with participants in Waynesburg. Participants created collages, greeting cards, bookmarks, and even pinatas, and shared what they learned with children attending Blueprints' Head Start program as well!

And in Carmichaels, Lindsay Huff shared various types of jewelry making with seniors and staff. Participants explored color theory as they created beaded jewelry, chemically etched drawings into copper and brass by utilizing ferric chloride, and fused glass to copper by enameling pendants, earrings, charms, and even light switch covers and dishes. 

We love partnering with community organizations to bring art making experiences to artists of all ages. It was truly a gift to spend time making, creating, and sharing with the participants of these Residency Projects!




Avonworth October 2016 Newsletter

Avonworth December 2016 Newsletter

2016 - 2017

Avonworth Elementary School

This fall marks the beginning of a Teacher Artist Partnership between Resident Artist Alison Zapata, and Avonworth Elementary third grade teachers Mrs. Becky Kolesar and Mrs. Julia Udovich. The sixty day Long Term Residency will cover five units of study while integrating arts with science, math, language arts, and social studies for a truly interdisciplinary, STEAM experience.

The 3rd grade students will learn about local Pennsylvania environments and pollinators, cultural diversity and holiday celebrations, rocks and mineral, and the planets and solar system while reinforcing Avonworth School District's focus on Human Centered Design, 21st Century Skills, and Common Core Standards.

Over the course of the TAP Project, Ms. Zapata will be joined in the classroom by six other Visitings Artists, who were chosen for their familiarity with their artform's intersections with science, technology, engineering, and math. The students will also experience field trips to our PCA's Marshall Galleries and to the Carnegie Museum's Hillman Hall of Gems & Minerals.

Read the October (top) and December (bottom) editions of TAP Art News (PDFs) to learn more about this amazing and ongoing Long Term Residency Project! 

Ringgold High School

This fall in Washington County, Resident Artist Laura Jean McLaughlin worked with thirty students in Mrs. Theresa Campa’s ceramics classes at Ringgold High School to create a fifteen-foot long mosaic mural. Students brainstormed and sketched designs that would represent student life and local history, then worked to cut mirror and stained glass pieces that were glued onto cement board panels. At the end of the twenty-day Residency Project, the students finished by applying grout between the mosaic tiles. The fifteen-foot mosaic mural will be installed in the board meeting room of the Roosevelt Administration Building.

Read more about the Residency Project in the Uniontown Harold Standard.


Ringgold mosaic


Ringgold mosaic

Tina Brewer at Linden


Tina Brewer at Linden

PPS Linden K-5

Resident Artist Tina Williams Brewer and PPS Linden art teacher Mrs. Deborah Lieberman have been partnering for fifteen years to bring the magic of quilting and story telling into the classroom and 2016 was no exception to their incredible collaboration.

Ms. Brewer worked with 2nd and 5th graders to explore cultural commonalities and personal histories through the use of fabric and symbolism. Quilted artworks taking a myriad of forms are installed throughout the school building.


West Greene Elementary Center

Meanwhile in Greene County, the fourth graders of West Greene Elementary Center worked with art teacher Mrs. Adrienne Day and Resident Artist Lindsay Huff to create a hanging curtain of metal charms that was installed in the entryway of the Elementary Center.

Students learned about properties of different metals including copper, brass, aluminum, and steel and manipulated pieces of each using pliers, hammers, anvils, shears, and letter stamps. The fourth graders also applied color with vitreous enamel and got to observe the mini-kiln in action during the 1500°F fusing process.

Creative writing had a role in the process as well as students brainstormed words to represent something important to them in the present and something they hoped for the future. By stamping their words into the metal pieces, the fourth grade created a group list poem that will serve as a monument to their grit, their collaboration, and their hopes and dreams.


West Greene Lindsay Huff installation

West Greene Lindsay Huff installation


Learn more about past Residency Projects from 2014 and 2015 on our PCA Education Tumblr


Artist Residency Projects can be accomplished in schools and community organizations from preschool age to elderly populations. Matching funds are available for qualifying organizations. Find out more by clicking here.