Bald Eagle

BEA students bring book bench to life

Bald Eagle Area students Lexi Turner and Sara Snyder paint a section of the book bench on Thursday. More than 100 students helped to paint the bench with farm scenes, an eagle and a detailed quilt.
Bald Eagle Area students Lexi Turner and Sara Snyder paint a section of the book bench on Thursday. More than 100 students helped to paint the bench with farm scenes, an eagle and a detailed quilt. adrey@centredaily.com

Early emergent corn painted on the front of a book bench was drawn to symbolize students in the Bald Eagle Area School District.

“It grows kind of like the life of our students,” high school art teacher Rosemarie Cox said.

More than 100 BEA students participated in the design of a book bench.

More than 100 students participated in painting the bench given to the district through the Centre Foundation.

Cox said she heard of the initiative last spring and wanted to be a part of it.

“There was buzz on social media about a grant sponsored through the Centre Foundation,” Cox said. “I heard they were giving away 25 benches and hoped it wasn’t just to organizations in State College. We went through an application process and were granted a bench.”

Through a student and community brainstorming session, Cox said a proposal for the bench, which is shaped as an open book, was submitted last fall..

As part of the proposal, they needed to designate a theme, a color scheme and reason the bench would benefit the community.

Cox and students at the district came up with the idea to represent the Bald Eagle region through agriculture and lifestyle.

There were a couple underlying meanings. We wanted to represent the valleys, farm life with a tractor and the sunset, and we also included bald eagle feathers.

Rosemarie Cox, BEA art teacher

“There were a couple underlying meanings,” Cox said. “We wanted to represent the valleys, farm life with a tractor and the sunset and we also included bald eagle feathers.”

Students began painting the blank bench in February, Cox said, and plan to finish the project by the end of the week.

“It’s a public piece of art that represents who we are,” Cox said.

Book bench design created to represent the Bald Eagle region.

The front of the bench includes a painting of a quilt with student-designed artwork in squares of things they like — a campfire, Friday night football and going fishing.

It’s surrounded by corn growing from the ground against a background of a blue sky and an eagle flying over the land.

On the back of the bench, students painted a farm with a tractor, silo and farm house that backs up to a sunset-type sky with an American flag pattern.

Cox said the background was made by elementary school students who used their fingers to dot the paint.

“No one was left out,” Cox said. “We had so many students it was hard to keep track, but it must have been over 100 kids.”

The book bench will be displayed in the front of Bald Eagle Area High School on South Eagle Valley Road.

Cox said students in the school’s agriculture class are also designing landscape that will go around the bench.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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