Lancaster City turns to PCA&D’s Yamilet Orengo ’22 to illustrate its celebration of Three Kings Day

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Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Yamilet Orengo ’22, Illustration, got a taste of real-world quick-turnaround projects with a special end-of-year commission for the City of Lancaster. Three works by Yamilet were used to highlight this month’s video celebration of Three Kings Day, or Feast of the Epiphany, created by the City of Lancaster and Triode Media.

The 4-minute video, which debuted on social media Jan. 6, pays tribute to the Latin American and Spanish cultures which celebrate the Dia de los Reyes tradition. As the legend is recounted by city employees Zayra Falu and Yarlyn Rosario, the city’s Director of Neighborhood Engagement, Milzy Carrasco, and Mayor Danene Sorace, Yamilet’s illustrations illuminate the feasting, Three Kings Eve, and traditions of the Wise Men who came bearing gifts on Epiphany.

Artwork by Yamilet Orengo '22, Illustration, is featured in the City of Lancaster's video celebrating Three Kings Day.

Artwork by Yamilet Orengo ’22, Illustration, is featured in the City of Lancaster’s video celebrating Three Kings Day.


Yamilet says that even though she didn’t grow up celebrating Three Kings Day, she still was eager to be part of the project when offered the chance. It was a big deal in Puerto Rico, where her parents grew up, she says, and “I wanted to do this for them, to bring back their childhood memories.”

That meant she had to work fast. Peter Scudner, a PCA&D trustee and chairman of Triode Media Group, reached out to the College for student involvement on Dec. 23, and by the next day, Yamilet was on board to provide the illustrations. She talked with Scudner on the day before and after Christmas and, by the time she met with filming organizers and city representatives on Dec. 28, had completed her research and initial sketches.

“I had to do some research to see what kinds of traditions there were and I asked my family how they used to celebrate it,” Yamilet says. “In a way, I did choose the two traditions” shown in the video. The first Yamilet chose is the Puerto Rican tradition of leaving a box filled with grass for the Magi’s camels, and the second is the Rosca de Reyes bread traditional to Mexico.

“Luckily, (the traditions) lined up with the script that was provided. I was asked to do the Nativity and the three kings (illustration); they really wanted that to be included.”

“The script was discussed to make sure it would follow the images and vice versa,” says Deborah Barber, who shepherded PCA&D’s involvement in her position as Director of the Institute for Leadership, Creative Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. At the Dec. 28 meeting, Barber says, Yamilet had to review the process, and her initial concepts, to get approval.

Yamilet’s final deadline, and filming, occurred four days later.


Danene Sorace, Mayor of the City of Lancaster, introduces the city's 2021 Dia de los Reyes greetings in this screen grab from Triode Media's video.

Danene Sorace, Mayor of the City of Lancaster, introduces the city’s 2021 Dia de los Reyes greetings in this screen grab from Triode Media’s video.

But it’s not just Yamilet’s artwork that’s featured: The artist herself is, too. Triode’s video puts Yamilet on camera to explain what inspired her work, and again at the conclusion to tie together the experience with her PCA&D studies.

“All I could think about was my professor just telling me, ‘No centralized compositions!'” Yamilet says with a smile. That reminder determined “how I want the viewers’ eyes to keep flowing from one part of the piece to another part of the piece.”

She also explains the process used to create her Dia de los Reyes pieces:

“I start off with … traditionally start sketching in my sketchbook. Once I like a piece I scan it and digitally trace it, and from then on out I just create my final pieces.”

“This was a great opportunity for Yamilet,” Barber says. “She had to research, sketch, present her ideas, finalize artwork and get it in digital format for the video, read her script, and then on the spot be taped working and giving background/comments on the fly.

‘”This was truly a ‘real world’ project with a tight deadline, which is often the case in these types of projects, and she rose to the challenge/opportunity!”