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A glass canvas: Panther Valley students decorate businesses’ windows

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    Faith Drumbore puts the finishing touches on a snowman outside the Lansford Coaldale Joint Water Authority. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app to see a photo gallery. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS

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    Emilee Kwaak, right, adds snowflakes to a snowman she painted along with Olivia Dacey inside the Panther Valley mini mall.

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    Rachel Strohl paints a Christmas tree on the window of a business on Ridge Street in Lansford. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS

Published December 06. 2018 12:38PM

When Meghan Boyle saw the four broad windows of the Lansford Wine & Spirits store, she knew it would make the perfect canvas for a holiday mural.

The Panther Valley High School junior researched designs online, blended her own colors, and transformed the store into a holiday scene along with her fellow art club members.

Knowing it would be seen by numerous residents during the holiday season, she wanted to make sure she got it right.

“Usually we have the art show at school and parents come, but this gives us a chance for everyone in the town to see it, to show we have the talent,” Boyle said.

About 20 art club members braved freezing weather Wednesday to paint the windows of businesses around Lansford. In an annual tradition in the borough, the nonprofit Lansford Alive asked businesses to lend their windows to the young artists.

Leo Cabrera of Cabrera’s Pizza is happy to let the students decorate his window. His daughter Brianna is a member of the art club.

“It’s something they’ll remember as they get older,” he said.

Brianna Cabrera and her fellow students painted gingerbread men, snowflakes and Christmas trees on windows around the borough.

“We were going to do some abstract art, but there wasn’t much time for that,” she said.

Senior Rachel Strohl participated in the project in 2017, and was excited to do something even better this year. She said the project makes her feel good because the art club is doing something for the community.

“I like doing arts and crafts, it gives me a chance to express my emotions through art,” she said.

The numerous windows included the businesses inside the Panther Valley Mini Mall, including Master Barbers.

Leighton Brown, owner of the barber shop, said Lansford Alive does a lot of good for the community. And he said the fact that the young artists get to display their work is a positive too.

“They make it festive,” Brown said.

The students wanted to make sure they painted something that the business owners would happy to display. Eighth-grader Katie Werner said she got a little anxious when she had to paint in front of the owners of one business.

“The guys who own the building were there, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I need to make them proud,’” she said.

Cassie Diefer was part of a group who painted the windows of the Friendly Food Market on Patterson Street. She said the goal is not only to bring cheer for the holidays, but to show that Panther Valley students care about where they come from.

“They just appreciate it. Our school gets such bad credit, but we are honestly good students and we appreciate our small town, and we try to get ourselves involved,” Diefer said.

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