Students participate in ‘Inside Out’ mural project to tell community’s story

Williamsport Area High School students are inviting the community to join in on a global art movement as they attempt to turn Williamsport “inside out.”

As part of her latest public art initiative, WAHS art teacher Andrea McDonough-Varner is independently organizing a mural idea that is part of the international Inside Out project, a “large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work,” according to

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, WAHS students will work to capture as many black-and-white portraits as possible from those in the city at Jeremiah’s above the Bullfrog Brewery in an event titled “The Inside Out Project: Williamsport Proud.”

The event is free and open to the public.

The portraits will be printed as 36-by-53-inch posters and will be installed on the high school’s campus in a display that will “celebrate the diversity, talent, opportunity and beauty found in our school’s community.”

“Inside Out gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement for what they stand for,” McDonough-Varner said. “This project is an ideal way to not only celebrate our community but to build the relationship that the school district has with our families and community members. We want to showcase the best and most beautifully diverse folks in Williamsport and let their portraits tell their story.”

The WASD Education Foundation’s Teacher Mini-Grant Fund sponsors McDonough-Varner’s project.

Inside Out creator, JR, won the 2011 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Prize for the effort, and more than 120,000 people around the world and 108 countries have participated in the portrait-producing project, according to its website.

The TED Prize is an annual $1 million award given to an exceptional individual who wishes to spark global change.

For more information on Inside Out, visit