Synergistic Potential - Fall 2004 Ivy Leaf Magazine

Ivy Leaf - Fall 2004

Synergistic Potential

Every now and then a unique opportunity presents itself for students and faculty to work together to improve Penn State Altoona's campus. The task of making the glass division in the Edith Davis Eve Chapel look interesting proved to be one of those opportunities.

The division recently was installed in the Chapel to create a sound barrier between the sanctuary and the offices, but many felt it looked too plain. To address this issue, Dr. Jay Burlingame, associate director of student affairs, suggested putting an etching on the glass. To make the project a learning experience for students, Michael Lucas, associate professor of visual arts, was enlisted to organize the project as a student art competition.

Lucas presented the project and guidelines to students in one of his spring 2004 art classes. Plans were to be drawn onto graph paper, bearing in mind that the Chapel is an all-faiths house of worship.

On April 28, 2004, the four design teams—each team consisted of three to five students—presented their projects in class. The religious affairs staff voted on the four designs and the winning design was recommended to Denny Stewart, director of business operations, and Dr. William Cale, CEO and Dean of Penn State Altoona, for final approval.

The winning project was designed by students Larry Bradfield, Stephanie Kramkowski, and Jill Zborovancik using photographs of trees on campus. The initial plan was to have the students' design turned into templates but, due to unforeseen circumstances, artists' renderings of the original photographs were used instead.

Jim Turiano, a local artist, finished the project with the help of Jack White, an alumnus of Penn State Altoona. Turiano donated his services because he had been married in the Edith Davis Eve Chapel years ago. He used a sandblasting technique instead of the traditional acid etching. As a result, the glass did not have to be removed, and the design was etched in place. One of the student artists, Larry Bradfield, was present throughout the summer to assist.

After approximately thirty hours and only one mishap—one of the glass panels in the door shattered during the process—the project was finished.

"The Edith Davis Eve Chapel etching project is a wonderful example of the synergistic potential that exists at Penn State Altoona when students, faculty, and administration collaborate," said Burlingame. Now in place of the harsh glass, there is the peaceful image of trees that serves as both a functional and beautiful sound barrier.