Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, January 11, 2019 – Throughout the summer and fall at Falls Downtown Fridays events, Western Reserve Hospital, Cuyahoga Falls and Woodridge School Districts, area residents, employees and students were asked to donate spare pennies for the PNC Penny Art Project, a project with the goal of seeing the “change” of Cuyahoga Falls.
After gathering what seemed like an endless amount of pennies, students from both high schools designed and created a unique art display that will now travel around the city for the public to see.
Beginning Friday, January 11, members of the surrounding community are welcome to view the finished art display in Western Reserve Hospital’s main lobby, located at 1900 23rd Street in Cuyahoga Falls.
Western Reserve Hospital, PNC Bank, the City of Cuyahoga Falls and Collide: Cuyahoga Falls helped make this project possible. Major coin collections took place at Cuyahoga Falls City Hall, Falls Downtown Friday Events, Woodridge and Cuyahoga Falls High Schools and Western Reserve Hospital.
The two art pieces on display beginning January 11 in Western Reserve Hospital are:
“The Cost of Education”
A sculptural project created by Woodridge High School’s Community Art Class. This sculpture includes a student at a wooden desk, covered in drawings of the day’s adventures. The bust of a child is sculpted out of terracotta clay and a school book, which is inundated with pennies. The pennies represent the cost of education and the weight it burdens on school districts, communities and parents alike. Most importantly our scene represents the funding problems in the adult world directly impacting each student, the curriculum and resources used each day.
As students worked on the project they found the oldest penny used was from 1935 during the Great Depression, a pivotal time in of Ohio’s funding of public schools. Through research they found the Ohio Retail Sales Tax Act of 1935 collected sales tax on store items beyond cigarettes and gasoline for the first time in our state. The Act also helped raise over $16.8 million and, for the first time, helped Ohio Public Schools rely less on property tax for funding.
Materials used: Red Clay, Pennies, Oak Wood, Pencil, Watercolor, Polycrylic
“The Falls of Change”
“The Falls of Change” sculpture was created by Cuyahoga Falls High School’s Public Art Design class with support from the CFHS National Art Honors Society. The seemingly endless coins flowing through the sculpture were donated by students of all ages within the Cuyahoga Falls School system.
Student artists were drawn to represent our city by highlighting what is most notable about Cuyahoga Falls. The student artists selected water as a central focus as the energy and flow of the falls reminds us of the history of the Cuyahoga River and how much positive change and progress has been made overtime. Today this progress is reflected not only in the river but also in the exciting changes and renovations of downtown Cuyahoga Falls. The student artists upcycled an old fountain to use in the sculpture that refers to the new and old fountains residents have enjoyed over the years. They placed the iconic white sculptural sails, seen near the Cuyahoga Falls amphitheater downtown, at the top of the sculpture. The water, represented by copper wire and LED lights, trickles down the sails and flows into town to remind the viewer of the playful and unique nature of the city.
Materials: Coins, foam, resin, steel rods, plastic, LED lights, wood, Epoxy clay, Great Stuff