Students crowd source street banner art

There’s new art on some light poles in Oakbrook Terrace and it was created by all of the students at Swartz School. The banners feature a hand design created by each Swartz 2nd, 3rd and 4th grader and when overlapped together in a circle, they create a large flower.

The banners were the brainchild of Oakbrook Terrace Alderman Dennis Greco. “We already have banners advertising our hotels and I thought wouldn’t it be great to do something with our schools,” he said. “It would be cool for the children to see their art on the city street.”

He worked with then-principal Gerrie Aulisa and art teacher Paula Zastrow who were both enthusiastic about the project. Zastrow came up with the idea of each child creating a hand design and putting them together in a radius as a larger design. She added words about character and good citizenship on the stem and leaves: Kindness, empathy, responsibility, respect and acceptance. “The students loved being part of an all-school project that is on public display,” she said.

The art piece was then created into banners and hung on posts in front of Swartz School, a 2-4th grade school in Oakbrook Terrace.

“All of us in the city feel the same way; we love the school and love participating in it,” said Greco, who has been living in Oakbrook Terrace since 1999, and with his wife have a son at Albright Middle School.

New artwork will be created by students and developed into banners and hung each year. They will feature the artwork of each grade level.