October 24, 2014

Medina
Mostly sunny
60°F

Brunswick High art students rehabilitate benches with art

Cheyenne Wurm | BEAT Reporter

Brunswick High School art students had the opportunity to create on an unusual canvas — a bench.

The school received two benches from a Veterans Affairs hospital branch that recently closed.

Shannon Bahr, a sophomore at Brunswick High School, cleans grime and dirt from a bench in preparation for painting. Brunswick High School received two benches from a Veterans Affairs hospital that recently closed, and students are rehabilitating them. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

Steve Myers, school district electrician, asked whether the art department could rehabilitate them, suggesting that they might be a great student art project.

Rhonda Januszewski, a Brunswick High art teacher, responded with an enthusiastic “yes!”

Brandon Emert, a junior, designed the first bench with a sports theme. Emert, an aspiring graphic designer, applied the concept of value, space and overall design to the bench as he measured the space outside the east office and lobby.

“This is a student-based project,” Januszewski said. “Beyond helping to decide on the theme, I had no input. No one else did. Brandon designed and sketched out his bench entirely by himself.”

After spending several periods developing bench designs on paper slips, Emert drew them onto his wooden bench. Besides being a quick worker and decisive in his designs, “Brandon has excellent spatial and perspective skills as well as an avid imagination,” Januszewski said.

Before any pencil went to the bench, Emert and sophomore Shannon Bahr cleaned all the old grime and dirt off the bench.

Primer was the next step, and a messy one at that. Days of painting gave Emert’s bench a fresh, white surface to apply his final sketches onto the top and sides.

The decision of Brunswick royal blue and white, suggested by Emert, was bounced off of Bahr, who agreed on the color choice.

“Shannon is a highly talented painter with excellent craftsmanship,” Januszewski said.

Bahr said that she would continue painting in her free time, as she does now, but hopes to make greater creations.

Alex Huvalchick also helped to paint the royal blue for the bench’s final coats.

Huvalchick, a LINK leader, had been volunteering to help out positive causes like beautifying the school inside and out. She is dedicated toward building school spirit and helping anyone who needs it.

The last thing that needed to be done to the bench was to seal the colors to protect the wear and tear it will face by many students and educators in the upcoming school year.

This project required a great amount of cooperation among many students who worked on it — despite the fact that they rarely were all in the same room at one time. Small notes were left on the side of the benches that dictated pieces and parts of the bench that were completed or needed to be worked on.

The goal is for Emert’s bench to greet students and staff in its intended location, around the east office, when they return in the fall. The second bench will receive its transformation in the 2013-14 school year.

Cheyenne Wurm, a sophomore at Brunswick High School, is one of more than 30 “backpack journalists” in the Brunswick Schools Video Program. The program is sponsored by RPM, Plum Creek Assisted Living Community, Medina Hospital and Lorain County Community College/University of Akron at Midpoint Campus. Go to www.thebeat22.com to learn more about the program or visit thebeat.pegcentral.com to view videos produced by the students.