ArtWorks students, instructors paint mural at Dino and Francesco’s in Clarks Summit

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com
Art instructors and students from ArtWorks Gallery & Studio in Scranton recently painted a mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House in Clarks Summit. From left, Ashley Gouldsbury, manager at Dino and Francisco’s; Stephanie Chunca, Senior Vocational Coordinator of Supportive Employment at Keystone Community Resources; Margie Makowski, art instructor at ArtWorks; David Uccellani, ArtWorks student; and Kaitlin Harrison, ArtWorks Manager and art instructor. - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal
ArtWorks student David Uccellani, left, of Old Forge, and ArtWorks instructor Margie Makowski, of Greenfield Twp., work on an art mural in The Piazza at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House in Clarks Summit. - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal
The Abington Heights School District is displayed on an art mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House. The mural, designed by ArtWorks instructors and painted with the assistance of students with intellectual disabilities and autism, combines Italian scenery and Abington-area landmarks. - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal
ArtWorks student David Uccellani, of Old Forge, works on painting a mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House. - - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal
A new art mural in The Piazza area at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House incorporates Italian scenery and Abington-area landmarks. - - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

CLARKS SUMMIT — The creation of a new art mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House brightened up the outdoor seating area of the restaurant, known as The Piazza, and offered students with intellectual disabilities and autism enrolled in a program at ArtWorks Gallery & Studio an opportunity to hone their skills while building confidence.

The mural, designed by instructors at ArtWorks and painted with assistance of students in the art program at the studio’s Scranton and Tunkhannock locations, depicts Italian scenery while incorporating a local flair by featuring the logos of Abington Heights and Keystone College, among other institutions and businesses.

According to Keystone Community Resources Senior Vocational Coordinator for Supportive Employment Stephanie Chunca, Dino and Francesco’s began its partnership with Keystone about three years ago.

Dino’s owners Michael and Mary Jo Yurkovic support Keystone’s mission by allowing opportunities for individuals with development disabilities to work in vocational programs.

“We reached out to see if we could bring some transition-age students in to do employment transition activities,” Chunca said. “They get real work experience and they get paid for it. They learn what it’s like to do actual work, whether it’s doing work assessments or job tryouts. They get to see what it’s like to work in a kitchen.

“It’s a nice partnership. The kids we’ve had who have done the learning experience have enjoyed it.”

While painting the mural was a big task, Kaitlin Harrison, ArtWorks manager and art instructor, felt it was a great assignment for the students.

“It’s a very large mural and it took a lot of workforce to get it completed,” Harrison said. “It was an opportunity to spread awareness for what we do. Although it was a lot of work, it was definitely a positive.”

Harrison, along with fellow teachers Margie Makowski, Delia O’Malley, Meme Bissland and Jacqueline Shattuck, designed the mural.

She belives students in the classes at ArtWorks have a chance to show off their creativity.

“Everybody has a different avenue that they want to approach in life,” Harrison said. “Keystone offers work assessments to get students into the community and, at ArtWorks, we’re able to help people pursue an art career.”

Ashley Gouldsbury, a manager at Dino’s, feels the work-based programs with Keystone benefit each party equally.

“I think it’s a nice way of giving back to the community as well as finding potential employees,” Gouldsbury said. “Someone who came in for an assessment became a permanent employee.”

Art instructors and students from ArtWorks Gallery & Studio in Scranton recently painted a mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House in Clarks Summit. From left, Ashley Gouldsbury, manager at Dino and Francisco’s; Stephanie Chunca, Senior Vocational Coordinator of Supportive Employment at Keystone Community Resources; Margie Makowski, art instructor at ArtWorks; David Uccellani, ArtWorks student; and Kaitlin Harrison, ArtWorks Manager and art instructor.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_ABJ-Dino-Paint-1-2.jpgArt instructors and students from ArtWorks Gallery & Studio in Scranton recently painted a mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House in Clarks Summit. From left, Ashley Gouldsbury, manager at Dino and Francisco’s; Stephanie Chunca, Senior Vocational Coordinator of Supportive Employment at Keystone Community Resources; Margie Makowski, art instructor at ArtWorks; David Uccellani, ArtWorks student; and Kaitlin Harrison, ArtWorks Manager and art instructor. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

ArtWorks student David Uccellani, left, of Old Forge, and ArtWorks instructor Margie Makowski, of Greenfield Twp., work on an art mural in The Piazza at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House in Clarks Summit.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_ABJ-Dino-Paint-2-2.jpgArtWorks student David Uccellani, left, of Old Forge, and ArtWorks instructor Margie Makowski, of Greenfield Twp., work on an art mural in The Piazza at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House in Clarks Summit. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

The Abington Heights School District is displayed on an art mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House. The mural, designed by ArtWorks instructors and painted with the assistance of students with intellectual disabilities and autism, combines Italian scenery and Abington-area landmarks.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_ABJ-Dino-Paint-3-2.jpgThe Abington Heights School District is displayed on an art mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House. The mural, designed by ArtWorks instructors and painted with the assistance of students with intellectual disabilities and autism, combines Italian scenery and Abington-area landmarks. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

ArtWorks student David Uccellani, of Old Forge, works on painting a mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_ABJ-Dino-Paint-4-2.jpgArtWorks student David Uccellani, of Old Forge, works on painting a mural at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

A new art mural in The Piazza area at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House incorporates Italian scenery and Abington-area landmarks.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_ABJ-Dino-Paint-5-2.jpgA new art mural in The Piazza area at Dino and Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House incorporates Italian scenery and Abington-area landmarks. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal
ArtWorks students and instructors paint mural at Dino and Francesco’s

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.