College of Arts and Architecture and local elementary school collaborate on mural

Vibrant green and blue geometric shapes painted on a basketball court
When students at Corl Street Elementary School in State College return in August, the school’s playground will look a bit different thanks to a collaboration between the College of Arts and Architecture and the school. The playground’s 8,000-square foot asphalt surface now features a vibrant, geometric-patterned mural designed with soft, earthy green and blue colors by Ann Tarantino, local artist, Corl Street Elementary parent and then-faculty member of the Penn State School of Visual Arts. While the finished product will be new to students, the design is anything but. Kelly Mark, principal of the school, said that after Tarantino came to her with the idea, school administration asked for an array of design options that could be voted on by students. After a vote in the spring, the creation of the winning mural is the culmination of a years-long school construction project, which included renovation to the existing building, construction of an addition and installation of a new playground. Mark said the completion of the playground surface has put the finishing touches on the school’s nature-based play space and is a symbolic ending to the lengthy construction process. “We are so fortunate to have incredible art professionals in our community and we are grateful for a beautiful mural that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but fits perfectly with the theme of the playground,” Mark said. The mural was funded by the College of Arts and Architecture’s Center for Pedagogy in Arts and Design and the Corl Street Parent Teacher Organization, which Mark said resulted in a collaboration between Penn State and the State College Area School District that will enhance the educational experience of students and their families. “One of the things that is wonderful about Corl Street is how much of a close-knit community the school truly is and having parents willing to give their expertise and time is amazing,” Mark said. “Because of Ann’s work and the support of the College of Arts and Architecture, we have a beautiful space that will be a part of the school for a long time.”

Schools and Departments: School of Visual Arts
Unit Research: A&A Sustainability, Center for Pedagogy in Arts and Design
Architecture Clusters: Sustainability (SUS)