With nonprofit's help, Gahanna Lincoln students, grads wrap utility boxes in vinyl art

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group
Gahanna Lincoln High School senior Jason Raymond designed the vinyl wrap for a utility box at Mill and Walnut streets, across from the Creekside parking garage's entrance. He created the design as a student in the School to Work Advanced Graphics class.

Four city utility boxes are wrapped in scenes featuring butterflies, cardinals, fish, trees and the Gahanna arch, thanks to Gahanna Lincoln High School’s Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) and School to Work Advanced Graphics students, in collaboration with Make Gahanna Yours and other contributors.

“The utility box wraps were part of the anti-litter Ohio EPA grant that Make Gahanna Yours received,” said Becky Kneeland,  who founded the nonprofit group in 2016 to identify and implement projects that would promote the quality of life in Gahanna by beautifying the community and creating family-friendly volunteer opportunities.

Kneeland said Make Gahanna Yours reached out to Mike Kunselman, Lincoln engineering teacher and Fab Lab adviser and SWAG teacher Ashley Lawson in September 2019 to see if they would be interested in designing and fabricating vinyl wraps to cover four utility boxes in Gahanna.   

Peyton Onstad, a 2020 Gahanna Lincoln High School graduate, designed this vinyl wrap along Granville Street, just west of the library.

“This project was just another way to highlight our community-beautification and litter-prevention initiatives,” Kneeland said.  

Kunselman said he and Lawson had gone out and taken all of the measurements and created one-tenth-scale templates in Photoshop and Illustrator, and then Lawson’s SWAG class began the very lengthy artwork process. 

“I reached out to 3M and was able to procure a donation of the vinyl wrap material,” he said. “Once proofs were sent to Becky and approved, we started the printing process.”

He said most of the project occurred during the 2020 pandemic, so the students weren't physically printing them in the Fab Lab at that point, so he printed them.

Kunselman said his eighth-period Fab Lab class contributed to the project.

“I feel that COVID threw a blanket over the whole project,” he said.

Kunselman said the wraps were printed on a roll of 54-inch vinyl, laminated with a clear layer of vinyl, and then cut to size. 

He said the graphics lab, which houses the printers, was funded by the Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation.

Rachel Deibel, a 2020 Lincoln graduate, designed a vinyl wrap featuring wildlife at Granville Street and Hamilton Road, adjacent to the high school.

Lawson said the four SWAG students who had created the designs and the location of the utility box wrap were as follows:

• Jason Raymond, a Lincoln senior, Mill and Walnut streets, across from the Creekside parking garage's entrance.

• Rachel Deibel, a 2020 Lincoln graduate, at Granville Street and Hamilton Road, adjacent to the high school.

•Jenna Bockrath, a 2020 Lincoln  graduate, at U.S. Route 62 and Ridenour Road, near the Mifflin Township Cemetery.

• Peyton Onstad, 2020 Lincoln graduate, on Granville Street, just west of the library.

Jenna Bockrath, a 2020 Lincoln graduate, designed a vinyl wrap at U.S. Route 62 and Ridenour Road, near the Mifflin Township Cemetery.

“All four of these students are extremely talented and worked hard to make these public works of art,” Lawson said. 

She said the project wouldn’t have been possible without Kunselman, whose guidance with making the templates to ensure the art fit each utility box was a critical step in the process. Lawson said the color balancing and printing of the art itself were no small undertakings by Kunselman.

He said the artwork and digital design from SWAG was 90% of the work.

“Both high school classes worked on these wraps during their class time starting in September 2019 and were just getting ready to print them in March 2020, when the school closed due to COVID,” Kneeland said. “Mike Kunselman was finally able to get back into his classroom the end of May 2020 and was finally able to finish printing them.”

Kneeland said her son Jeff Kneeland, a vinyl-wrap installer with Auto Additions, and son Greg Kneeland installed them at no cost over a couple of weeks.

Cait Masarik, president of Make Gahanna Yours, said the project was completed Sept. 5, 2020.

“The theme of the wraps promote recycling and keeping our city litter-free to support the native wildlife and community,” she said.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla