Jamyla Spells had to scramble to meet the eggs-acting specifications of White House event planners.
The Carlisle High School senior had a week to turnaround a graphic design for an Easter egg representing the state of Pennsylvania.
“I was really excited,” Spells said. “I feel my career is going somewhere. Nothing can stop me now. The president asked for this.”
The Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House has been an annual tradition going back to 1878 and the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes.
On Monday, President Donald Trump and the first lady will celebrate the 2018 event by weaving in a new version of an old custom.
In the past, the White House has asked each state and territory to submit a graphic that could go on an Easter egg, said Ashley Gogoj, a high school art teacher and program chair for the arts and design department of the Carlisle Area School District.
“Most often the design was done by professional artists,” Gogoj said. But this year the Trump administration wanted the artwork of students from across the U.S.
“The decorated eggs will be displayed as guests enter the event to illustrate the vast footprint of the Easter Egg Roll as families from each state will receive tickets,” the participation guidelines read.
“I think they liked the idea of getting the students more involved,” said Gogoj, adding the event has always been about bringing young people together. “I think they wanted the focus to be on the children.”
Participating schools were required to contact the U.S. Department of Education by March 5 to confirm their interest in the project. However, a communications glitch at the state level caused Pennsylvania to miss that deadline.
As Gogoj understands it, federal officials called state officials who then contacted David Deitz, a fine arts consultant for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. It turns out that Gogoj had worked with Deitz in the past by helping him set up art shows at the PDE administrative building. This connection proved to be a lifesaver.
Deitz contacted Gogoj on March 8 and asked her if there was a Carlisle student with the skill and drive to design an Easter egg graphic in a very short period of time.
Right away Gogoj thought of Spells. “I do have a student who works very quickly in digital design,” she told Deitz. “It would be a great opportunity for her.”
Gogoj knew that Spells worked best under pressure. The Carlisle youth has experience doing art work under commission so she was used to the idea of following guidelines.
“This was a form of graphic design,” Gogoj said. “Typically you have a client and you have specifics. This was nothing new to Jamyla. Maybe a little higher pressure because this was going to the White House.”
On March 9, Gogoj outlined the task and the challenge. Spells took it on without hesitation. The first thing they did was to convince all her teachers to clear her Friday schedule so that Spells could spend the whole day brainstorming and conceptualizing the graphic.
The White House design guidelines were very particular. The Easter egg graphic could only include the following pantone colors: Gold (8385c), Green (802), Yellow (803), Pink (806) and Blue (279). White could be used as the background color or as an integral part of the graphic.
Gogoj believes the specific color palette corresponds to the colors of the decorations that will be used at the Easter egg roll. “The hardest part was the five colors, that’s all you had.”
The guidelines did not allow for color gradients or shading that could add accent to the design.
Each design had to be emblematic of the student’s state. The guidelines suggested using state symbols that could be layered into an overall pattern and aligned vertically.
For the concept, Spells turned to the state animal (the white-tailed deer), the state flower (the mountain laurel) and the state tree (the hemlock). She used a topographical map of Pennsylvania as the inspiration for the shape of the antlers and incorporated the keystone symbol.
At one point, there was confusion on how the design should be configured. Spells thought the White House wanted a graphic that could wraparound a three-dimensional egg. That design had a deer on one side and a hemlock tree on the other side. Spells had to abandon that idea.
When Gogoj called event planners for clarification on what they wanted, they advised her that the final format was still being worked on. The design guidelines called for a graphic that could cover a four-by-two-foot area and could be printed on a two-dimensional egg.
The design was turned in on March 14, and Gogoj received a call this week asking her to resend the graphic at a higher resolution. “They are down to the wire,” she said of the White House staff.
“It was my life for a week,” said Spells, who put in close to 30 hours on the design. “I feel like it was an accomplishment. I’m pretty honored by it.”
Prior to this, Spells had done commission work for family and friends. Her tightest deadline ever was a three-day turnaround on a project.
“I like creating my own things and coming up with my own stuff,” Spells said. “Ever since I’ve been introduced to art, I’ve loved it.”
After graduation, Spells plans to attend HACC for two years before transferring to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. She wants to pursue a career as an animator drawing cartoons for children.
Spells is learning the basics of animation and has some experience drawing comic strips.
“It turned out awesome,” Spells said about her Easter egg design. “I love it.”
Cumberland County will develop a grievance procedure and staff training program for the Americans with Disabilities Act as part of a settlement announced Wednesday with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The settlement comes from an anonymous complaint filed against the county government over access for people with disabilities, particularly the county’s’ lack of a designated ADA coordinator.
According to a statement from the county, that investigation by the US Department of Justice, via the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, started in 2016.
The county has been in “complete cooperation” during the procedure, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney David Freed’s office.
As part of the final agreement, Holly Sherman, who works in the county’s human resources office, will become the county’s ADA coordinator, Freed’s office said.
The county will also need to publicize the ability of disabled people to contact the ADA coordinator, and implement a grievance procedure for disabled people who have access complaints. The county will also need to make its website more accessible, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“This agreement demonstrates Cumberland County’s commitment to ensuring that individuals with disabilities will have an equal opportunity to access and participate in the county’s government programs,” Freed said. “With an ADA coordinator, individuals with disabilities will now have a person in the county who can answer their questions, accept accommodations requests, and receive their complaints.”
The county said it has “already addressed most of the concerns raised by the DOJ,” and will be implementing training for employees on how to deal with ADA access issues.
“Cumberland County has and always will be inclusive of everyone, regardless of their race, gender, religion or disability,” said Vince DiFilippo, chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. “We were not aware of any ADA compliancy concerns until this complaint was filed, but we have worked in good faith with the Department of Justice to develop a plan to meet all requirements.”
Construction of automotive condominiums to be built on one of Carlisle’s former industrial sites may begin this summer.
Work on the Concours at Carlisle, a development consisting of more than 20 condos designed to store and display automobiles, is expected to begin this summer or early fall, said Mark Galbraith, co-owner of Galbraith Pre-Design.
Galbraith’s company is part owner of the project. The Concours at Carlisle will at the former Masland/IAC site between B and C streets along Carlisle Springs Road.
Galbraith said the condos are expected to be ready for occupancy by spring 2019 in preparation for Carlisle Events’ Spring Auction and Spring Carlisle show in 2019.
“Interest has come from all over — locally, surrounding states, as well as internationally,” he said. “It is going to be a community of passionate collectors. … It’s important to note that there are numerous collector car events in this region, and northeast United States, whose attendees have shown interest. Historically, Carlisle Events has drawn collectors of all types into one place.”
Plans for the Concours at Carlisle were approved by the Carlisle Borough Council in November.
The Concours at Carlisle is also sponsoring Carlisle Auctions’ Spring Carlisle from April 19 to April 21 at the Carlisle Expo Center and will be a seasonlong sponsor for all Pennsylvania-based events put on by Carlisle Events and Carlisle Auctions.
Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
In Pennsylvania, when law enforcement believe items are associated with certain criminal acts or have been purchased with the proceeds of those criminal acts, those items can be seized through a process known as civil asset forfeiture.
The property being seized can range from cash to homes or real estate and the owner being charged with a crime is not a requirement.
Since the process is a civil matter, the people who own the belongings are allowed to have an attorney present but are not guaranteed one if they are unable to afford it, as is required in the criminal system when a defendant is facing a possibility of imprisonment.
In fact, the proceedings are executed against the items themselves, and the owner must petition the court to even become a party to the case.
For example, if police seize a Sony Playstation they believe was purchased with money gained from selling drugs, the case docket would read something along the lines of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Sony Playstation.
The owner of the game system would need to petition the court to be allowed to argue that it shouldn’t be taken.
Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, has introduced a bill that would guarantee legal counsel in some civil asset forfeiture cases.
Senate bill 941 would require counties to appoint legal counsel for anyone who has standing to contest a civil asset forfeiture case but does not have the money to hire an attorney and the property being seized is real property, like a home or land.
The bill would also allow the same appointment of counsel for anyone who has not been charged with a crime when any property is seized and they cannot afford to pay for an attorney.
Legal fees would be paid for through a new $2.25 fee for all civil filings, according to the bill.
The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office collects roughly about $400,000 a year from civil asset forfeiture and in roughly 25 percent of the cases the person whose items were seized was not convicted of a crime, according a 2015 report issued by the ACLU of Pennsylvania.