Glenville, WV – Students in the Glenville State College (GSC) Art Society have directed their talents to refreshing the benches within the City of Glenville for the new semester.
The benches project, which began many years ago, successfully provided color and spirit to Glenville through colorful and creative designs. In 2019, current art students and members of the GSC Art Society noted the wear that the benches had accumulated over the years and set out to give them a refresh with touch-ups and protective clear coats. The students worked closely with the city and Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick to secure the funding and supplies needed for additional benches.
“Back in 2019, Ms. Taylor Brumfield came to me with a thought of redoing all the street benches through her campus organization. She stated to me that, with the condition of the benches, it would be a nice facelift,” said Fitzpatrick.
“In total, there were over a dozen benches that needed to be designed and painted,” said Assistant Professor of Art, Chris Cosner. “Each bench had to be stripped, sanded, primed, hand-painted, and then clear-coated for protection. The students worked tireless evenings, weekends, and sometimes in freezing temperatures to complete the project.”
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the progress on the benches to a grinding halt in late March, as students were forced to leave campus and transfer to online learning. With social distancing guidelines now in place, however, the students have come together again to complete the project.
“This was an extremely ambitious project that the students took on for the community,” said Cosner. Glenville State College prides itself on preparing our students for not only their chosen careers but to be active members in improving their communities. We want to thank all of the students, faculty, and community members who helped complete the benches. We hope the colorful benches help to brighten and beautify the community and serve as a place for residents and visitors to come together in friendship and conversation.”
“I have been very fortunate to be a part of the process since the Art Society had received the benches last school year, all of us working hard to restore and repaint each of them,” said Art Society President, Brianna Deel. “Seeing the first round of benches finished and placed back around town is very gratifying knowing that there was a lot of patience, hard work, and time put into the project. I hope the community enjoys seeing the newly painted benches in town as much as we do.”
For senior Claire Amos, the benches project further drives home the sense of community in Glenville. “It never feels like a chore to help out the town, especially with the never ending support for the college,” she said. “Seeing the benches around town fills me with a sense of pride, knowing we could do a little something for our community. I’m excited to help out on more projects and to better our community.”
The GSC Art Society is active on campus and in the community, completing projects and activities, fundraising events, art-related trips, and more while giving creative individuals a place to collaborate and discuss art.