Chairs adorned with art by Greensburg Salem students featured at stores, in auction

Mar. 5—Chairs that once served a practical purpose in the Greensburg Salem High School library are now on display at several downtown Greensburg businesses, with a new artistic flair and a charitable end.

The school and the Greensburg Business and Professional Association are collaborating on an exhibit and auction of nine chairs that are covered with themed images painted by student artists.

Each of the chairs can be viewed in person at a different store, but bids must be placed online — by using a QR code displayed at each location or by visiting

Bidding begins at $20 per chair. Auction proceeds will help provide funding for the high school art club — applied toward field trips, supplies and costs associated with exhibition opportunities — and for the Giving Tree Project, which engages students and staff to purchase holiday presents for students who are less fortunate.

"Most kids would not be open to spending almost a month making something like this only to donate it to a charitable cause, but these young people are the exception," high school art instructor Darryl Audia said of the 17 students who applied their creativity and artistic skills to the chairs.

"Our students are talented, innovative, passionate and kind," he said. "They will do great things."

Save for one individual art piece, each of the chairs was designed and painted by a team of two students. Chair themes range from Pittsburgh-related images to pop art-inspired designs and animated icons.

In the latter category, sophomore Kerrick Shaw and senior Zach Rush were inspired in part by the 2006 movie "Monster House" when they painted a chair displayed at McFeely's Gourmet Chocolate. It already has been sold, for $150, under the auction's "buy now" option.

Another chair features SpongeBob SquarePants, the central character in the high school's musical production, running through Sunday in the auditorium.

President Amy Beeghly said the Greensburg business group — also known as Shop Greensburg — approached the school district last fall with the idea of exhibiting student art in member stores. The library chairs became ideal canvases for the students after the district replaced them.

The exhibit and auction is an example of community partnerships "that allow us to enhance and expand our students' learning experience," said Ashley Kertes, Greensburg Salem's associate administrator to the superintendent in charge of community outreach.

"It's something exciting and different to do," Beeghly said of the exhibit. "The kids each wrote up a little commentary about their motivation," which is displayed with the corresponding chair and on the auction site.

The chairs were randomly distributed among participating merchants, which will display them through March 31. "It's kind of interesting where they ended up and how they seem to fit the personality of the store in a lot of the cases," said Beeghly.

A pop art-themed chair incorporating the famous Rolling Stones lips logo has found a temporary home in front of a picture window at Beeghly's Beeghly and Co. Jewelers. It was painted by junior Gia Rosensteel.

Other merchant and chair theme pairings:

—Scott Electric Lighting Gallery — SpongeBob by seniors Jasmine Kunkle and Geneva Brookins;

—The Shepherd's Keeper at Kinderhook — abstract art, "Less is More" by sophomore Paige Kline and junior Kim Secleter;

—Petagogy — inspiration from Andy Warhol's early work, by seniors Michelle Reynolds and Aina De Litron Rojas;

—Mancuso's — Pittsburgh theme by sophomore Jordyn Loskey and senior Jaden Hill;

—Penelope's Gifts & More — inspired by black light posters, "Eye of Worlds" by juniors Sarah Faulk and Brad Skero;

—Crossroads Boutique — checker patterns with floral blooms by seniors Azaria Murray and Selina Fullard;

—Artisans of Hands and Heart — surrealism and pop art with a garden theme by juniors Nico Wombacker and Delaney McClarren.

Beeghly is encouraging the students to arrange a "meet the artist" night at the store where the chair they decorated is displayed.

Featured at Ligonier Valley museum

Audia noted two other chairs weren't included in the auction because they are featured in a Ligonier-area art exhibit. Seniors Destiny Walker, Emily Frazier and Ella Petroskey and junior Sarah Glowa collaborated on the chairs that are part of a show of student artwork, "Artists of the 21st Century," continuing through April 30 at the Ligonier Valley branch of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

One of the chairs is painted with floral and puzzle-piece designs and the other features bright colors and images of human figures in motion, according to the museum.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff by email at or via Twitter .