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School News

TJ Arts, a community nonprofit in West Jefferson Hills, proudly announces the winning artist for a large-scale artwork commissioned for the rebuilt Thomas Jefferson High School in the South Hills district.

TJarts
Dennis Stocke shown here in the atrium of the new Thomas Jefferson High School, currently under construction. (Photo by Katie Conaway of Wanderlust Photography).

After a one-year search, on March 31, 2018, Dennis Stocke was selected from a field of 27 applicants. Mr. Stocke is an art teacher for the Upper Saint Clair School District and a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Stocke began his teaching career at Thomas Jefferson High School as a student teacher.
“I would find great personal reward in being able to leave my artistic mark in the district,” said Stocke. Because of his past connectivity to the district, Mr. Stocke feels that he is an “ideal fit” for the project.

The subject of the artwork is the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, the namesake of the school. The mural-sized artwork will greet students, teachers, staff, residents and visitors as they enter the main atrium of the school; as such, it will be the artistic signature of the new building. The finished product will span the bulkhead of the atrium, measuring approximately 42 feet wide by six feet high.

The artwork will be unveiled at the Grand Opening of the new school in the coming year.

“The selection process was extremely competitive,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Ghilani said. “We are so excited for the students, teachers, and community to see the piece that was chosen that will be the centerpiece of the building for many years to come.”

The selection committee was comprised of TJ Arts Board Members, West Jefferson Hills School District administrators and staff, professional artists, and community residents.

TJ Arts is dedicated to supporting and encouraging the full expression of the performing and fine arts in the West Jefferson Hills School District and the communities it serves. Our guiding principle is that exposure to the arts during adolescence plays a significant role in forming the fabric of what young people become, enriching their lives and instilling a lifelong appreciation for artistic performance and creative expression. For more information, visit the website www.tj-arts.org.

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