‘Drawing’ a crowd: Murals to adorn Whistle Stop Plaza

By on October 17, 2018
EHS students Destiny Marsh (left) and Allison Metzler work on  painting one of the murals that will be displayed in the Whistle Stop  Plaza. Photo by Ephrata Area School District

EHS students Destiny Marsh (left) and Allison Metzler work on
painting one of the murals that will be displayed in the Whistle Stop
Plaza. Photo by Ephrata Area School District

Whistle Stop Plaza will look a little brighter on Oct. 26 as seven murals will be unveiled on the brick outside wall of the Re-Uzit Shop.

Ephrata High School students, working with regional award-winning muralist Katie Trainer, are collaborating on creating the murals, as part of a partnership between the Ephrata Development Organization (EDO), the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, and Millersville University.

The mural project is just one aspect of the EDO’s revitalization efforts, giving students the opportunity to make their own indelible contribution.

“The students really are a part of the revitalization efforts,” said Trainer. “There are at least 200 students overall that have helped with the project.” While over 40 students are involved in the painting process, several others have participated through designing, priming wood panels, and drawing up sketches.

The murals feature familiar sights to Ephrata residents, including scenes of the Ephrata Fair, Amish farm lands, and the Christmas tree lighting. The murals also showcase people in various body poses and with different expressions. The theme — “People Watching People” — promotes the idea that people attract more people.

“And the Plaza should be full of people!” said Kelly Withum, of the EDO.

“As a District, we are always looking for opportunities for our students to connect their talents, interests, and passions with what they learn in school,” said Superintendent Dr. Brian Troop. “This project is a perfect example that will be highly visible in our community; we are so excited to be part of it. We look forward to continued opportunities to partner in our community, which will let everyone see what our students can do when they are authentically challenged.”

Whistle Stop Plaza, as a central location in Ephrata, is an ideal place to encourage locals to congregate.

“We want to brighten up the place,” said Withum. “We’ll have tables and chairs in the Plaza by Oct. 26.”

“It’s great to be collaborating with the school district and groups of students taking ownership of the community,” said Withum.

The Whistle Stop Block Party and Mural Unveil will begin at 4:30 and end at 6:30 p.m on Oct. 26. There will be light refreshments and entertainment and other students displaying their clay sculptures.

Aubree Fahringer is the Cocalico editor for The Ephrata Review.

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