Programs: "Encounters: Art in the City"

PACES is pleased to report the success of our partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of History of Art and Architecture (HAA) for a new and innovative program, made possible thanks to Pitt's University Honors College Service Learning Course Development Grant. Local high school students worked with HAA undergraduate students to not only explore public art, but to collaborate on the creation of art and installation projects which will be exhibited in the University Art Gallery in May 2014. PACES was the community partner for this Pitt course and art outreach program.

Exhibition logo designed by Anthony Robinson, 10th-grade student and participant in the Encounters program.

Pittsburgh Assistance Center for Educators and Students

"I cannot say enough wonderful things about the "Encounters: Art in the City" program!  As a teacher, it was great to take a breather and watch as the energetic Pitt students led the program.  I never felt the need to step in.  More importantly, the SciTech students were provided with a deeply valuable program that would not have been otherwise available.  They were so excited to physically create art with the resources Pitt and PACES provided and proud to see their work on display at a university gallery.  Thank you for enriching students' connection to their city and linking them to art and art history!" 

"I felt that this was the most engaging and beneficial program that I have ever participated in and I hope that it continues in the future."


Pitt students show SciTech students one of the halls in the University Art Gallery. Students visited the gallery to see where their work would be displayed.

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Meet the Participants
Meet the Pitt undergraduate students who are completing the Encounters course and community service program and read what they have to say as the program draws to a close.
  • "This program has enhanced my overall experience as a university student [and]...has taught me a lot about community."  Danny Augenbraun,  Read more >>
  • ​"This course made explicitly clear the intensive amount of work both in and outside the classroom needed to be an effective teacher."  Lauren Burgess,  Read more >>
  • "It is a rare opportunity to foster young artists and guide them through the artistic process, and I feel privileged to say that I have had the chance to do this."​ Cyrille Froncek, Read more >> 
  • "The Encounters program was a great opportunity in many ways....I felt like I could actually partake in something that REALLY impacted the community through the students." Grace Kelly, Read more >>

  • "I feel this project was the most rewarding academic experience I have had at Pitt." Joanna Kemp, Read more >>

Exhibition Details

Encounters: Art in the City opened at the University Art Gallery on May 9th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. The exhibition displayed a timeline of the program, showcasing both the SciTech students’ artwork and the experiential learning process in which the undergraduate students engaged throughout the course. Through this, the exhibition demonstrated the results of positive interactions between the Pitt undergraduates and local high school students. Photos coming soon!

University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts Building, University of Pittsburgh, 650 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh

Gallery Hours:

After opening night, the exhibition was open to the public through May 23, 2014 at the following times: Wednesdays and Fridays 10am – 3pm, Thursdays 3 – 7pm. There was no admission charge for the gallery. 


Program Description

This fall, HAA majors applied for one of five enrollment spots in a new course, "Teaching Art History", which is offered through the HAA department and cross-listed as a University Honors College course. The course began in January 2014 and was developed by Prof. Gretchen Bender of the HAA department and Emily Lilly of PACES. In addition to their academic classes, the undergraduates taught high school students at the Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy (SciTech) about various aspects of public art through walking field trips and interactive classroom activities. Halfway through the program, the SciTech students began to work on the creation of their own art projects (with the assistance and guidance of the undergraduates). The program ran during the third-quarter activity period at SciTech (twice a week, January 23 through March 28). Jennifer Miller is the cooperating teacher. The program was provided at no cost to students or SciTech. PACES thanks Ms. Miller and the school administrators for their cooperation, as well as the HAA department for allowing us to partake in this worthwhile endeavor.  


Jennifer Miller, the cooperating teacher for this program, reflects on the experience: 

A student thanks PACES for this opportunity, then states:

Exhibition logo designed by Anthony Robinson, 10th-grade student at SciTech and participant in the Encounters program.

Pittsburgh Assistance Center for Educators and Students