Art students collaborate with Lycoming College for Inside Out Project

Several students in Andrea McDonough-Varner’s art classes have been working in conjunction with Lycoming College students on the Inside Out Project. The Inside Out Project is a worldwide project where groups create murals from individuals’ portraits. The murals are displayed in public venues around the world.

The group has been in the planning stage for several months. The first step was choosing an action statement that serves as the focus for the photographs. The group’s action statement for the project is “Celebrating the diversity, talent, opportunity and beauty found in our school’s community.” The final step, the displaying of the mural, is still a year away.

In preparation, students from the high school have taken a photography class at Lycoming College in order to better understand and apply photographic techniques necessary for the project. “Understanding (background) textures is important to creating a good mural,” senior Kelly Fisher explained.

The group organized its first public event March 22 at Jeremiah’s above the Bullfrog Brewery.

Students who completed the photography class and one Lycoming College student took portraits of more than 100 people. Most of the participants were students from the high school, but several people in the area agreed to volunteer. Students invited people who passed on the street or who had finished eating at the Bullfrog to have their pictures taken.

The students were “pleased” with the turnout. “We hope to display the mural at the spring (music) concert,” one student said.

“The next step is the hardest,” McDonough-Varner said. “Aside from all the technical stuff that we have to do to prepare the photographs, like weather-proofing them, we have to find an owner who will allow us to place the mural on the side of his or her building. The group has several buildings in mind, but nothing will be finalized for a few more months. A mini-grant from the Williamsport Area Education Foundation is funding some of the expenses for this project.”