CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 10, 2023) — EPB has unveiled artwork by 12 high school students selected from the 2023 ArtSpark Goes to School challenge. Students and their parents attended a public ceremony at EPB’s downtown office, where they were recognized by Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, EPB President & CEO David Wade, Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Justin Robertson and other community leaders. Photos available here.
“It’s inspiring to see the diversity, creativity, and beauty across all the student works selected for this year’s ArtSpark Goes to School displays,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “These students aren't just improving Chattanooga’s shared spaces and enhancing cultural tourism, they are exercising real-world STEAM skills and being prepared to excel in Chattanooga’s future workforce.”
ArtSpark student artwork beautifies EPB utility boxes located across the community. Seven schools are represented among the selected works:
Students created artwork to fit utility boxes based on the theme of “What Energizes You?” by creating designs that illustrate what in their lives gives them energy.
“My ArtSpark project encapsulates what it feels like to have energy,” said Alanna Jones Newman, a student at Sale Creek High School, whose work features the liveliness of koi fish. “When people see my box, I hope it reminds them of something that excites them. Whether it be a gleaming childhood memory, an impressive accomplishment, or if they just like fish, I hope this piece is able to motivate someone to accomplish great things. In the process of making this piece I learned how to use acrylic paint to create dynamic scenes.”
Newly selected ArtSpark selections will be permanently displayed on utility boxes near Finley Stadium, Liberty Tower, Chattanooga Marriott Downtown, Frost Stadium, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Hamilton Place, intersection of Lee Highway and Highway 153, intersection of Lee Highway and East Brainerd Road, Rossville Boulevard and East 49th Street, Highland Park and The Chattanoogan Hotel.
“The arts are a great way to engage our students and help them connect to their schools and communities,” said Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Justin Robertson. “I’m proud to see artwork reflecting the experiences of our students on display as part of the ArtSpark project. Our school district represents rural, urban and suburban areas, all of which are reflected among the pieces selected this year. We’re grateful to EPB for continuing to offer this platform to students to make an impact on our community with the guidance and support of their teachers.”
With the completion of this year’s ArtSpark Goes to School program, student artwork will be displayed on 49 utility boxes.
“EPB is deeply committed to have a strong presence in our public schools through programs like ArtSpark Goes to School that inspire students to use their talents to discover possibilities through their passion for the arts,” said EPB Director of Residential Energy and Environmental Solutions Elizabeth Hammitt. “ArtSpark gives students the opportunity to learn about the electric system and offer a real-world work experience by participating in the local arts community and going through a competitive process to submit art for public display.”
EPB’s ArtSpark Goes to School partners include ArtsBuild, the City of Chattanooga and the City’s Public Art Chattanooga, Hamilton County Schools, River City Company, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and UTC’s Arts-Based Collaborative.
“ArtSpark has exceeded our expectations as an avenue to inspire students to incorporate their passion for the visual arts into future career possibilities,” said Laurie Allen, Executive Director with the Arts-Based Collaborative and the Challenger STEM Learning Center at UTC. “It’s also very moving to see how students share their own personal experience to enrich the community through their work.”
The program engages high school students through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) curriculum in which they learn about electricity while creating artwork for public spaces. Students used a combination of traditional two-dimensional methods, digital cameras and professional graphic design and photography software to create their artwork with the help of their art teachers and design experts.
“ArtSpark Goes to School illustrates what makes Chattanooga special through public partnerships to enrich our community through the contributions of neighbors like these talented students,” said Emily Mack, President and CEO of River City Company. “Through this program, ArtSpark has turned utility boxes into focal points downtown and beyond.”
EPB works with a third party to create and apply vinyl wraps from the winning student designs.
EPB delivers advanced smart city infrastructure and world-class energy and connectivity solutions, including the most resilient smart grid power distribution system in the United States and the fastest internet in the world. EPB gained national notice when it deployed America’s first community-wide Gig-speed internet in 2010, later expanding the ubiquitously available service to 10 Gig in 2015 and 25 Gig in 2022. Ever committed to keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge, in 2022, EPB established EPB Quantum NetworkSM powered by Qubitekk, America’s first industry-led, commercially available quantum network designed for private companies as well as government and university researchers to run quantum equipment and applications in an established fiber optic environment.
EPB utilizes its fiber optic network as the communications backbone for more than 200,000 smart switches, sensors and other devices. As a result, the Chattanooga area’s power distribution system is the most advanced and highly automated smart grid in the nation. This led the U.S. Department of Energy to name EPB a living laboratory for pioneering smart grid technologies. Since then, EPB has partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and more than 20 other national research partners to play a critical role in more than $155 million in smart city research, earning such recognitions as the R&D 100 Award for its work to apply quantum technologies to securing America’s electric grid. EPB was also the first major power distribution utility to earn the GBCI’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid in 2015 and followed up in 2021 by re-certifying at PEER Gold.
EPB is an independent board of the City of Chattanooga which began serving customers in 1939 and today reaches a 600-square-mile service territory that includes the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee and the surrounding area. Visit epb.com for more information.
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