EPB ArtSpark Goes to School Highlights Student Creativity and Beautifies Chattanooga
Posted on 05/08/2024
EPB ArtSpark Goes to School Highlights Student Creativity and Beautifies Chattanooga  CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 8, 2024) – The latest class of EPB’s ArtSpark Goes to School now has their creations displayed on 12 utility boxes across Chattanooga and Hamilton County. This is the sixth group of Hamilton County School students to be selected out of a competitive submission and judging process.

“Students whose artwork was selected for this year’s ArtSpark Goes to School are part of what makes Chattanooga so special,” said Chattanooga Mayor Kelly. “Beyond their clear talent, winners aren’t just making Chattanooga a more beautiful place — they represent the future leaders of our community who are better prepared because of programs like this.”

“It’s inspiring to see the sheer creativity and talent flow from our public school students who are developing their gifts in ways that will assist them in whatever they pursue beyond the classroom,” said Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp. “Hands-on programs like ArtSpark provide essential pathways for young minds to hone in on their passions and thrive.”

EPB received an impressive number of submissions, each showcasing exceptional creativity illustrating the theme “What Energizes You?” This year’s selected works were created by:
· Brainerd High School — Leaann Finch
· Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts — Faith Daan, Sara Jackson, Drew Runyan
· Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts — Naomi Bissell
· Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences — Kaylee Moore
· Hixson High School — Mia Medlin
· Sale Creek High School — Alanna Jones-Newman
· Signal Mountain High School — Addison Klapper, Grace Martin
· Soddy-Daisy High School — Sharon Cheng
· The Howard School — Elisabet Ramirez Morales

Newly selected ArtSpark Goes to School selections will be permanently displayed on utility boxes in the following areas: Northgate Mall, St. Elmo, Alton Park, Highland Park, Montague Park, Hamilton County Election Commission, Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence High, East Lake Academy of Fine Arts, Bonny Oaks Drive near Jersey Pike, Publix on Gunbarrel Road, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, Volkswagen Drive and Hamilton Place.

With the completion of this year’s ArtSpark Goes to School program, student artwork will be displayed on 58 utility boxes. The City and LDG Development joined as partners this year, contributing boxes on their property to the program. LDG is the program’s first private developer to join the program.

“LDG Development leapt at the opportunity to feature student artwork in our newest development in Chattanooga, The Reserve at Mountain Pass, because including community is what transforms neighborhoods,” said LDG Development Vice President of Strategic Engagement Nancy VanReece. The Reserve at Mountain Pass is an affordable housing development preleasing units in the Alton Park area. “We’re proud to support ArtSpark Goes to School and enjoy the talents of Hamilton County students.”

Inspiring the Next Generation of Creators

The program engages high school students through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) curriculum during which they learn about electricity while creating artwork for public spaces.

“Students interpretations on the theme of ‘What Energizes You?’ represent a wide spectrum of viewpoints, each of which are as unique as the students who created artwork,” said Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Justin Robertson. “Hamilton County Schools works closely with EPB to prepare students through programs like ArtSpark, Future Ready Institutes and HCS EdConnect, and each of these programs recognize and promote readiness for the world beyond K-12 education.”

Students used a combination of traditional two-dimensional methods, digital cameras and professional graphic design and photography software to create their artwork with the help of their art teachers and design experts.

“ArtSpark is a wonderful learning opportunity for the young, aspiring artists who participate in the program,” said Lyndhurst Chair of Excellence in Arts Education at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Laurie Allen, who also works with schools on the curriculum for the ArtSpark Goes to School program. “All ArtSpark student participants learn how their passion for visual arts can translate into careers by participating in a real-world submission process.”

A Collaborative Community Effort

Led by EPB, ArtSpark Goes to School is a community initiative dedicated to fostering and providing a platform for young artists to showcase their talents and contribute to the city's vibrant cultural landscape.

“Art transforms everyday objects like utility boxes into a focal point, and it is a special point of pride to have student works join Chattanooga’s artistic community,” said River City Company President and CEO Emily Mack. “Congratulations to all students whose work was selected on their outstanding talent.”

EPB’s ArtSpark Goes to School partners include Hamilton County Schools, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Arts Based Collaborative, River City Company, ArtsBuild, Public Art Chattanooga and LDG Development.

“EPB is committed to fostering a vibrant and creative community,” said EPB Director of Residential Energy and Environmental Solutions Elizabeth Hammitt. “The ArtSpark Goes to School program is an example of our dedication to empowering students and enhancing quality of life in our community.”

EPB works with a third party to create and apply vinyl wraps from the winning student designs.