The Puzzle Piece Project comes to Latrobe

Karley Owens, Reporter

“It’s all about your personal expression and creativity,” said co-creator of the Puzzle Installation and Collaborative Project and Brooklyn, New York native Tim Kelly. The project is formally known as “The Puzzle Piece Project” which is a growing art exhibit that features individual’s artwork, creative expression, stories, collages, or anything that represents an individual on a foam board in the shape of a puzzle piece. As the individual pieces add up, Kelly puts all of the pieces together to form a larger piece of art that is featured in New York City.
The idea for the project started in 2009 when Kelly, Sandy Taylor, and Marie Maber developed the project for the Monmouth County Teen Arts Festival in Brookdale, New Jersey. Since then, the project has expanded from a small festival to having over 13,000 total pieces and participants in over 20 states and 20 countries worldwide. Participants of all ages from corporations, schools, clubs, support groups, organizations, and communities have participated to share their uniqueness and their personal story.
Paid for by the Fred Rogers Foundation, the Puzzle Piece project has come to the Latrobe area. Anybody in our community has the opportunity to tell their story. Puzzle pieces are available at the Latrobe Art center or Mrs.Mack or Mrs. Balko will take requests for puzzle pieces.
Participants so far include the high school’s National Art Honor Society, All of the third grade classes in the each of the elementary schools, the High Post staff, and all of Mrs. Stallings Academic English III classes, as well as teacher like Ms. Landy, Mrs Zalewski, and Miss Blake.
Once completed, all pieces will be returned to the Latrobe Art center to be put together. Some of the pieces already at the center were put together on January 24 for a reveal party. Other pieces collected will be added to the larger display that is being sent to New York City in late spring. After this exhibition, the puzzle will travel across the country and globally before being placed in Kelly’s personal archive.
Proceeds from the $10-per- piece fee will benefit the GLSD Parks and Recreation, Relay for Life, The Greater Latrobe School District Art Conservation Trust, and the Humane Society.
This project proves Kelly’s catchphrase that “art is good for you.” Participants don’t have to be artists to be creative, they just need to express something that is meaningful to them. It is the differences and individuality in each piece that help create the unity of the whole picture.