By TRAVIS MORSE
MT. VERNON — — Peoples National Bank is using its lobby to showcase several pieces of art created by students at Mt. Vernon Township High School.
The program is a collaborative effort involving the bank, MVTHS and Cedarhurst Center for the Arts. It is meant to promote young artists and give them a public forum for their work.
The art in question is on display at the Peoples bank location at 413 S. 34th St. in Mt. Vernon. It was installed Jan. 27.
“I think any time we can allow our students to showcase their work in the community is a great thing,” said MVTHS art teacher Hannah Rodgers. “That's the beauty of art. It doesn't matter where it's showcased at. … It always makes the room that it's in more exciting.”
About eight pieces of art from MVTHS students are now featured in the Peoples lobby. They include ceramic sculptures and paintings/drawings.
The idea for the display came from Joe Gliosci, a vice president at Peoples National Bank.
Gliosci said he oversaw a similar art showcase when he worked at Old National Bank several years ago, and decided to revive the program at Peoples.
He then reached out to Rusty Freeman, director of visual arts at Cedarhurst, and MVTHS art teachers Rodgers and Crystal Nowak to bring the project to fruition.
“Cedarhurst was delighted to be invited by Joe Gliosci and Peoples National Bank to be a part of this community outreach, and we were happy to help out,” Freeman said.
One of the artists featured in the Peoples display is MVTHS senior Ieisha Sanders. Her piece is a ceramic sculpture depicting an old-fashioned wine bottle, the kind of bottle a “king would have,” Sanders said.
The 16-inch tall sculpture took roughly two weeks to complete.
Sanders said she is pleased to have her work on display at Peoples.
“I'm proud of it,” Sanders said. “I think (the display) is a good idea.”
Other student artists with works in the display include Patrick Burke, Daniel Flood, Ayla Gehner, Natalie Hensley, Drew Hester, Molly Koester and Mikayla Martin.
Gliosci said he'd like to make the showcase an ongoing feature at the bank, possibly adding new student art three times a year.
The current art display at Peoples will be up until the end of February.
“It's a nice way to give them a little exposure,” Gliosci said of the young artists. “I think art is a great way to stimulate the young mind.”