Although it was one project, a mural at the Williamsport Area High School that recently was completed on a stairwell wall shows each student's individual talent.
"Each student got to do their individual piece of the mural based on education is knowledge, knowledge is power," said local artist Jeremiah Johnson, who helped with the project.
Johnson said art teachers Carrie Bosch and Lori Crossley came to him about the project after seeing some of his work.
Student participants and artist Jeremiah Johnson show off their work. The mural was recently completed on a stairwell wall in the Williamsport Area High School. Although one mural, it incorporates many different pictures. Each student expressed themselves in different ways — from photographs to pastel drawings.
"It started with the teachers," Johnson said. "They came to me with the project."
The idea behind the mural was instead of doing one big mural with one idea, each student would contribute their own individual piece to the project. Students were given the task of designing a 10-by-10 inch design or illustration that expressed the importance of education.
"We wanted a mural but wanted as many kids to contribute in it as possible," Crossley said.
Crossley and Bosch estimate about 150 students participated in the project.
In order to help fund the project Johnson spoke with the Williamsport Education Foundation about supporting the project.
And before their ideas could be put into action, students were required to write about what they wanted to do for their piece.
"They wrote out their ideas first and then they made sketches," Johnson said.
"A self-reflection piece helps them to come up with ideas," Crossley said.
She said it allowed students to fully think of their ideas and to flesh them out a bit.
Throughout the entire project, Johnson made a point to explain to the students the process of doing a public mural - from getting permission to securing the funds.
"I took them through it step by step," he said. "Working with them I explained to them each part of the process."
Seniors Trisha Synoracki and Jill Hampton said being able to work with an artist on the project brought a different perspective to their work.
"He showed us a lot of his artwork, too," Synoracki said.
Johnson also found a way to make the project easier for each student by having each design or portrait be produced on pieces of individual material, not directly on the wall itself.
Johnson and the teachers said doing it this way was convenient for the students, as they are able to do it wherever and whenever.
"They didn't have to go down to a wall and stand in front of it. They could take it with them," Bosch said.
After each student completed their part of the mural, Johnson used glue to piece it together on the 15-by-11-foot wall. He described the process like putting up wallpaper.
Photos of friends to paintings and pastel drawings now cover the once plain brick wall - and the response has been good.
"The students who have seen it have been pretty amazed by it," Johnson said.
Johnson said a special aspect of the mural is that some of it is glow-in-the-dark. But, he added, most students will never get to see that part of it.
"That's a secret that only the janitors will know," he said.
Students have received a sneak peek of the finished project and have been impressed.
"It was really cool, first of all, knowing it's going to be part of the school," said junior Crystal Vance.
"When we were putting it up they were looking for theirs," Johnson said.
The three organizers of the mural said they already are thinking about what they can do in the following years.
"I would like to (the mural) continue," Crossley said.
"Our administration definitely encourages artwork," Bosch added.