Art gifts

Leechburg-area art students create custom birdhouses for local businesses

Some lucky birds are about to score colorful new digs, thanks to recent art creations by students at Leechburg Area High School.

The Birdhouse Project is the latest project from high school art teacher Shayle Prorok. Six students designed and painted birdhouses last month.

The homes will be donated to Cook Medical in Parks Township. Nest boxes in Cook were installed in May.

Joseph Felschow, corporate social responsibility representative at Cook, said the birds immediately settled into the nest boxes.

“Blackbirds, robins and even a few cardinals moved in within days. We are proud that the nesting boxes here on our campus are displayed and inhabited by local wildlife,” he said.

Joyce Hanz | Tribune-Review

Medical Cook in Parks Township

Helynn Gazda, a junior, got whimsical with her design.

“I was inspired by fairy houses and images of fantasy worlds,” Gazda said. “I loved doing this project. It’s for a good cause and I’m glad I was able to get involved.


Joyce Hanz | Tribune-Review

Helynn Gazda, an art student at Leechburg Area High School, has designed a fairy-themed birdhouse that will be donated to Cook Medical in Parks Township as part of the art department’s Birdhouse project.

The students worked on the birdhouses for several weeks, using acrylic paint and then sealing them to make them weatherproof.

Sophomore Eliza Trusiak chooses a popular dessert to adorn her birdhouse.

“It’s an ice cream theme. I thought it would be cute on campus and at Pink Day,” Trusiak said. “My art style isn’t usually this cute, but it was a fun and interesting project.”

Prorok implemented the project two years ago, donating six nesting boxes to Cook. The new houses will make a total of 12 donated birdhouses.

“They are watching us to make more birdhouses every two months,” Prorok said of the ongoing project.

Students from the Technical Education Department made each birdhouse out of wood.

“This project is entirely in-house,” Prorok said. “From a community perspective, it’s important that people can see what’s going on in our classroom. These nesting boxes are visible on the outside. This helps students develop a bit of community pride.

Felschow said Cook has partnered with the Leechburg area school district in an effort to showcase student talent.

“Giving back to the places we live is one of seven values ​​that Cook encourages employees to have,” Felschow said. “We focus on community health, youth education and our social enterprise as social responsibilities as a company.”

Elderly Jasa Oliver nodded to his Ukrainian heritage with his design.

“The flowers on top are adorned with Ukrainian folk motifs, and on both sides is the Ukrainian coat of arms,” ​​Oliver said. “The front of the birdhouse features a sunflower, the national flower of Ukraine.”


Joyce Hanz | Tribune-Review

A custom Ukrainian themed birdhouse painted by Leechburg area high school art student Jasa Oliver.

The words written in Ukrainian on Oliver’s birdhouse translate to “Glory to Ukraine”.

Superintendent Tiffany Nix said displaying student artwork in the local community is a win-win proposition.

“Our partnership with Cook Medical is truly a gift to our school. It’s wonderful to have a local business that is so supportive and inclusive of our students, staff, and program,” said Nix.

Three of the birdhouses are very pink.

“My inspiration was to raise awareness of breast cancer, and I was happy to provide a home for a bird,” said freshman Sophia Charles.

The birdhouses were on display at Pink Day, a fundraising event for breast cancer research, held in Leechburg on Saturday.

Junior Azlynn Banichar incorporated Cook’s branding for his creation.

Banichar painted green four-leaf clovers with roses to represent breast cancer awareness and partnership with Cook.

Ryleigh Zamperini used wooden Popsicle sticks, rocks and pebbles for her birdhouse, placing each individually to make shingles and a roof.

“My theme was an abandoned cabin. The birdhouse was tough, but I loved every bit of it,” Zamperini said.

Joyce Hanz is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Joyce by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .