Friendship Hangs High at City Hall
Bart Sullivan, 02-28-2019

From left to right: Sophia Cory, Emma Johnson, and Emilio Larned-Hernandez work hard at creating the Friendship Community Quilt, now hanging in Cuyahoga Falls City Hall.
Suzanne Sajewski
In a historic speech, Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together, we can do so much.” This anecdote best describes the newest artwork hanging at Cuyahoga Falls City Hall, created by Roberts Middle School’s art students.

Over a three-week period, all 103 art students from 6th, 7th, and 8th grades—of all abilities, interests, and talents—used acrylic paints and Sharpie markers to design the “Friendship Community Quilt,” a three-panel paper mural that includes every color of the rainbow. The design uses various patterns of stars and lines, evolving throughout, which were chosen to reflect how friendships change and impact people throughout life. These designs also provided students with studies in geometry, social studies, and the science of color and light. Roberts art teacher Suzanne Sajewski said, “Cherishing the friends that we have had over the years and developing new friendships give us an opportunity to know others and ourselves more deeply, and that process of making and appreciating our friends enriches our lives.”

A collaboration between Western Reserve Hospital, Collide: Cuyahoga Falls, and the local school district, selected schools were given three 4x4 mural panels to create individual works of art. The presentation of this mural at City Hall is important for the local community, not only in creating more awareness of appreciation of the arts in the city, but showing how Cuyahoga Falls has grown over the last year. “The very act of creating this quilt, the evolving symbol of friendship and how each individual cooperatively contributed their hard work and talents to this project is a metaphor for how a community can create and be a part of wonderful outcomes,” Sajewski suggests.

The Friendship Community Quilt hangs along the north hallway of City Hall near the Police and Parks and Recreation departments. It is on display during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. These panels will remain there until mid-April, according to the Neighborhood Excellence and Downtown Administrator Carrie Snyder, after which they will be returned to Roberts Middle School. The piece will then be replaced by artwork from Silver Lake Elementary School students.

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