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Students’ Mural Brightens Hallway at Hospital

By Vickie Babyak
The Tube City Almanac
February 21, 2024
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Students pose for a portrait in front of the mural they designed and constructed for the oncology department in UPMC McKeesport. Left to right, Tyler Reigh, 16, of White Oak; Victoria Fast, 17, of White Oak; Christina Wos, 17, of White Oak; Ryenn Thomas, 15, of McKeesport; and Matthew Miller, 17, of McKeesport. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Students from McKeesport Area High School recently completed a 4-foot by 16-foot mural to beautify the hall in the Oncology Wing of UPMC McKeesport hospital.

Not only is the mural colorful, but it displays uplifting messages like “grow positive thoughts” and other encouraging phrases.

Mark Winowitch, director of facilities and environmental services for UPMC McKeesport, contacted art teacher Denise Bollman, and asked if her students would be interested in creating a mural; she accepted the offer.

The students’ mural project was under the direction of Bollman and commercial art teacher Lyndsay Brown. The students are taking classes in the MAHS Art Department and Technology Center Commercial & Advertising Shop.

McKeesport Area High School commercial art teacher Lindsay Brown and art teacher Denise Bollman pose for a portrait in the art room. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Bollman and Brown met with Winowitch to discuss plans for the mural and its placement. “The concept for the design was developed by students Victoria Fast and Tyler Reigh, and vinyl designs and application were completed by Vicky Hernandez,” Brown said.

“When we started the idea, we wanted to do a bright concept to bring in the joy and encourage people by using colors, flowers and butterflies, and to make a big, fun mural,” Fast said.

“We drew the whole mural from start to finish,” Reigh added.

Vinyl application was also important to the completion of the mural. “It was difficult to apply the vinyl but I enjoyed the process of creating it,” Hernandez said. Ryenn Thomas assisted with the application and said she enjoyed having the opportunity to come in and work on the mural because it was a peaceful end to her day.

“The students were very compassionate about putting the project together and it took about two months,” said Bollman.

The mural was delivered UPMC McKeesport on Feb. 5.

Winowitch said, “It’s beautiful and the staff and patients will love it. It’s going to brighten up everyone.”

Student artists included:

Victoria Fast, 17, White Oak
Vicky Hernandez, 17, McKeesport
Matthew Miller, 17, McKeesport
Tyler Reigh, 16, White Oak
Ryenn Thomas, 15, McKeesport
Christina Wos, 17, White Oak

Originally published February 21, 2024.

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