Near the exit of our parking lot is a line of formerly plain concrete "jersey" barriers. They now mark the property line with style thanks to the efforts of ten painters from our community! Throughout the month of May, the artists painted their colorful designs onto the barriers, each interpreting the Summer Learning Program theme, "Tails and Tales," in a unique way. Enjoy the barriers as you exit the library each time you visit, and learn more about the artists and their designs on this page or download the PDF version.
Holly Cohick: Barrier 1 (next to the stop sign)
Bio: Holly Cohick is a Cumberland County graphic designer who has a taste for adventure, enjoys puns, and was born with a passion to create. She does traditional art, digital painting, and photography. Through childhood she loved to draw animals and has since focused on people portraits. Her inspiration comes from shows and movies, people she admires, and the blessings of daily life. She wants to spread joy and inspire souls by sharing her artwork. You can eat up her colorful Carlisle utility box across from the Hamilton Restaurant called Smorgasboard from the Art While You Wait project. Connect with her on social media at @HLCohickArt. Design: “The Tail End” starts a little “fishy” with a mermaid, seahorse, and shark swimming by. Tails of animals make up the calligraphy. The background is categorized into three elements: swirly water waves; growing greenery for the earth dwellers, and a warm fiery sunset. Holly's goal is that readers of all ages will be reminded of a story or make their own narrative of this tail wagging artwork.
Mallory Shelley: Barrier 2
Bio: Mallory Shelley is fine artist and proud resident of the Borough of Mechanicsburg. She lives with her partner, Nick Roller, and their daughter Corinne who attends Northside Elementary School. She specializes in figurative drawing and acrylic painting, however is always curious to learn new techniques and experiment with assorted mediums. Mallory is mostly self taught, but she did attend Pratt Institute for a year. Observing the work of Salvador Dalí, Claes Oldenburg, and M.C. Escher are what inspire her to think outside of the box. Besides creating art, Mallory relishes the everyday moments spent with her family and two pugs. She also enjoys playing puzzle/board games, researching Mid-Century Modern architecture and furniture design, and also adventuring out into nature! Design: Inspiration came from time spent at the library with her daughter. A favorite program is “Tales with Tales”, where children have the opportunity to read to therapy dogs. She incorporated depictions of dogs, books, and children with a dream-like background to evoke a pleasant viewing experience.
Trudy Martin: Barrier 3
Bio: Trudy Martin is a retired art teacher and kindergarten teacher from Amherst, NY. Her B.S. degree from the State University of New York College at Buffalo is in Art Education. She initially taught grades K-6th art in Niagara Falls, NY public schools. After starting a family, she founded and directed Pendleton Christian Nursery School before moving to teach kindergarten and art at Amherst Christian Academy in Amherst, NY for 26 years. After retiring and moving to Mechanicsburg to be near family, Trudy worked part-time in the Children's Ministry department at Christ Community Church, Camp Hill until 2019. Trudy has done graphic art work for many organizations, mural painting, general and wedding photography, stage set design and painting, and cake decorating. Most importantly, Trudy is mom to five grown children and twelve grandchildren. Education and the creative arts have always been an important part of Trudy's life, and she is excited to continue giving to our community. Design: Design: She created a scene with animals that have interesting tails, browsing books with a border of plants. A chameleon is next to Rainbow Chameleon and a skunk by Little Skinks Tail. Also included are a bookworm, a fairy, sloths and elephants.
Suzanne Hair: Barrier 4
Bio: Suzanne is a Mechanicsburg artist who primarily works in mosaic. Her work has been exhibited at Metropolis in Mechanicsburg, The Hive Artspace in York, and the Eye's Gallery in Philadelphia. She has also participate in the Foundry Day Art Festival in Boiling Springs, the Odd Ones Bazaar at the Millworks in Harrisburg, the Hbg Flea, Harvest of the Arts in Carlisle, and the Bazaart holiday art market at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Visit Suzanne's Instagram page to see more examples of her art: @broken_art_mosaics. Design: A stack of children’s books with tails coming out which correspond to the title of the book. Sue aims to show how books come to life for a child and to create the feelings of the tails coming out of the books to draw the reader in.
Katlyn Baer and Green Ridge Elementary School Fifth Grade Students: Barrier 5
Bio: Katlyn Baer is an Elementary Art Educator at Green Ridge Elementary in the Cumberland Valley School District. She is passionate about community based art education. Providing students with learning opportunities outside the walls of a classroom is vital to developing a well rounded arts education. Collaboration within our larger community fosters deeper connections and understandings to the people around us and prepares students for life and work in the 21st century. Students develop not only artistic skills but also universal qualities that help them in all areas of life including persistence, leadership, collaboration, creative thinking and problem solving, as well as agency, self-discovery, and self-expression. Perhaps most importantly, community based art projects provide our youth with a platform through which they can share their voice. This is my continued calling as an arts educator, to provide my students with such opportunity to find their voice and be heard. Design: It depicts a serene outdoor scene with the elementary school gator mascot reading alongside the school district eagle mascot with a school of fish just beneath the surface of the water listening in. It was painted on a thin mural fabric with acrylic paints, allowing in-school and at-home students to participate. Using a gel medium, the mural was attached to the surface of the concrete barrier.
Olivia Harper Wilkins: Barrier 6
Bio: Olivia Harper Wilkins is an astrochemist and artist passionate about communicating science through different media. She is currently based in Carlisle and is a 2015 alum of Dickinson College, where she earned her B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics. Olivia is a chemistry PhD candidate at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and she recently moved back to Carlisle to finish up her doctorate degree from Caltech remotely. The media employed by Olivia to transform science into art include acrylic paint, digital painting, and woodburning. She has also written numerous zines to share science, from space science to the chemistry of cooking pancakes. Olivia is writing and illustrating a book about astrochemistry for the American Chemical Society. You can find examples of her work at http://theskyisnotthelimit.org/sciart and https://ko-fi.com/livwithoutlimit/gallery. Design: The design is a celestial take on the theme, featuring a comet soaring through space, with its dust tail trailing behind it. In the space next to the comet’s tail tardigrades, colloquially known as water bears, who are seen reading books. Tardigrades were chosen because they are the first animal known to survive exposure to outer space.
Molly Goehring: Barrier 7
Bio: Molly Goehring is an artist, illustrator, and designer from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. A recent graduate of Penn State Harrisburg, her work celebrates the concept of imperfection through the inherent drama of color and contrast. Design: Books have a way of bringing people together, regardless of who they are or where they come from. Her design features two very unlikely friends—a cheetah and a fish—coming together to share their love of the written word.
Sarah, Chris, Rachel, and Katherine Becking: Barriers 8 & 9
Rachel (age 15) is a sophomore at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School whose creativity focuses on scale models and other 3-D objects. Katherine (age 18) just graduated from Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School who pursues myriad artistic projects, including fiber arts and painting, in her free time. Both have enjoyed various art classes through school.
Chris brings construction experience and planning skills to the endeavor. Sarah contributes knowledge of children's literature and the motivation to engage the family in fun service to the community during this challenging season. They are a family team who appreciates public art and Summer Learning Programs, having participated in them all the girls' lives. Design: Animals with prominent tails in complementary colors are featured. Mathew van Fleet’s tactile book Tails inspired the pangolin, and the peacock was chosesn because its tail is gloriously improbable. The pangolin carries a baby on its back and features a book-on-CD, while the peacock image is more abstract and freeform.
Amanda Baca: Barrier 10
Bio: Amanda Baca is a high school student at Harrisburg Academy. She has loved art since she was a kid, and she is getting better at it by the day. Amanda paints water bottles for school every year and enjoys traditional drawing as well. She recently started using an iPad for graphic art. Amanda tries to include art into her school assignments in any way possible using her iPad! Design: The design has a friendly-looking turtle and two mermaids. Use of bright colors draws the eye and appeals to younger children.
Paula Hess Stahl with Mason and Milo Baublitz: Barrier 11
Bio: Paul Stahl is a retired local business owner and Interior Designer. She was a Pennsylvania State Portfolio winner and the winner of the National Art Scholarship in the Scholastic Art Contest. Paula has had numerous commissioned art pieces. She believes it is very important to get children involved in the arts at an early age and watch their excitement grow! She is mentoring Mason and Milo Baublitz, Paula's significant other's grandchildren, who show significant talent and artistic potential. Design: A library shelf is next to Mrs. Katt reading a bedtime tale as her three kittens settle down for the night. Listening intently, their little “tails” wag with excitement. Just behind Mrs. Katt, a little mouse enjoys the story as well. The book titles showcase Mason and Milo’s list of favorites.
Special Thanks to:
Andy Hayter for taking photos of the artists with their painted barriers to display in the library.
Brian Edmondson, owner of Art Depot in Mechanicsburg, for offering a discount to the painters.
Brian Gross for allowing his jersey barriers to be painted and straightening one of the barriers that it could be used.
Boy Scout Troop 55, Lemoyne for cleaning up weeds around the barriers in fall 2020.
Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory and Buhrig’s Gathering Place for donating bottled water and the use of their sound system for the reception on June 5.
Jack Winchell, owner of Ritter's True Value Hardware, Mechanicsburg for the donation of buckets.
Trent Mellott for painting the white base coat on the barriers.