Steve Prince, assistant professor of art, designed and coordinated an event to bring together the Meadville and Allegheny College communities.
Prince came up with the idea of creating a giant wooden zipper because he wanted to create connections between the two communities.
He said he looked at local history and found the zipper was invented and produced in Meadville.
“When you think about the zipper, there are two separate parts and then you pull up the middle and it brings those two separate elements into one,” Prince said. “Then I took it to the next level and said how can I get individuals to create pieces that also connect to make one big harmonious piece. Then I cut up all the exterior pieces and cut them into puzzle pieces. So the puzzle piece becomes symbolic of the individual.”
Prince said that he went out into the Meadville community along with the Meadville Neighborhood Center and asked residents of all ages to carve a wooden puzzle piece however they wanted.
The pieces were then assembled and rolled with ink. A steamroller was used over the wooden pieces and worked as a stamp and giant prints were made.
Sophia Stabley, ’19, attended the workshop where students were asked to help assemble the carved puzzle pieces to make the zipper.
“I think it kind of intertwines the college and the students into the community because it is getting everyone involved in one project that is celebrating Meadville,” Stabley said.
Lee Scandinaro, an Americorps VISTA in the Allegheny Gateway, helped Prince throughout the process.
“There will be three or four prints and they will be displayed all over the community,” Scandinaro said. “So it might be at the high school for a while, it might be at the academy for a while, just to unify all of these different aspects of Meadville.”