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Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is the catalyst behind Lancaster’s public art movement


Pennsylvania College of Art & Design led the effort to coordinate resources for artists interested in public art and in the development of the public art action plan for the City of Lancaster.

In 2003, the college established the “Mural Resource Project,” which served as a clearinghouse for public art opportunities and as a way for like-minded individuals to connect. 

Fast forward to 2007. 

PCA&D changes “Mural Resource Project” to “Public Art Resource Project” (PARP) to reflect that public art is more than murals.
Also that year, PCA&D learned that the City leaders included public art in its long-term strategic plan and wrote of its importance to “the ideal urban experience for our residents and visitors.” 

As a result, PCA&D secured a grant from the Lancaster County Community Foundation.  The grant – along with significant in-kind resources from PCA&D -- was used to:
1.    Commission the creation of a research-based public art action plan because at the time, there was no public art planning information or resources in the community. 
2.    Hire of Renee Piechocki, an experienced public art consultant, to create the action plan.

Throughout 2008, Piechocki used stakeholder group meetings and other data collection methods to gather community input about public art, its status and its future.  On October 28, 2008, Piechocki published the “Lancaster Public Art Action Plan.” PCA&D President Mary Colleen Heil, presented the action plan to Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray.
The Plan provided a series of goals and action steps that have guided the City in the facilitation of public art and in 2009, the City received a grant from the Lancaster County Community Foundation so it could hire a Public Arts Manager.


Art that the public can enjoy in Lancaster includes two popular "must-see" locations and they're both at PCA&D: the nightly show of lights that illuminate the facade of the college (shown above) and the transformed exterior portico at the corner of Chestnut and Prince Streets. Shown below are the artists who created the mural and poem: Mary Szybist (poet) and artists of Root 222: PCA&D alumni Deric Hettinger '02, Shawn Wanner '08, and Anthony Mark.










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