CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — An urban community center is a little more vibrant and inspiring thanks to the artistic talent of a Penn State Lehigh Valley professor.
Christina Galbiati, lecturer, graphic design at PSU-LV, designed and painted a STEAM-themed mural for the Hazleton Integration Project (HIP). A community-based initiative in Hazleton, Luzerne County, HIP was founded by Hazleton native Joe Maddon, philanthropist and legendary baseball manager who was named Major League Baseball’s Man of the Year three times.
HIP seeks to unite people of different cultures who now call Hazleton their home. The Hazleton One Community Center is HIP’s flagship project. This is Galbiati’s fourth mural for the organization. For this project, she teamed up with HIP and the Penn State College of Education. As a Hazleton native, Galbiati has a deep connection to the Lehigh Valley and her affinity for the community remains strong.
She completed her first mural for the center in 2018 and was once again approached by HIP co-founders Bob Curry and Elaine Maddon Curry for this project.
“This project serendipitously came to me,” Galbiati said. “I felt even more privileged to participate this time around, as I had the chance to represent Penn State in my home community. I see it as a wonderful opportunity to contribute. I am an arts educator, so I was thrilled to put my work on the wall and be part of this arts initiative.”
Galbiati had only three weeks to take the project from conception to completion.
“I followed the process I teach my students: research, thumbnail sketches, then digital proofs. Penn State approved the direction with some changes, but they were on board with what I was doing. Then I installed it,” she said.
The final version features a hand-painted collage of STEAM-related icons, including a lightbulb, computer, art palette, gears and a paintbrush.
“I also want to make more of the assets interactive, and that is in the early stages,” Galbiati said.
The Hazleton Community Center is located at 225 E. Fourth St. in Hazleton. For more information, visit the webpage.