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Frostburg State University Students Inspire “Unity” Through Billboard Art

Frostburg State University Students Inspire “Unity” Through Billboard Art

Drivers passing through Franklin County, Pa., will see uplifting billboards designed by a recent Frostburg State University mass communications alumnus.

A patriotic-themed poster featuring handprints and the word “Unity,” designed by Justin Hersh of Mount Savage, will be featured on billboards for several weeks as part of Project Elevate from Kegerreis Outdoor Advertising of Chambersburg, Pa.

Hersh, who graduated in December 2015 and minored in graphic design, had his work chosen among his fellow students in FSU’s ART 207 Advanced Graphics Design course taught by Assistant Professor Courtney “Cookie” Redding of Shippensburg, Pa.

“I knew immediately I wanted to illustrate the word ‘unity,’” said Hersh. “We did this project around the same time as the Paris terror attacks happened. I was encouraged by the support of the entire world coming together to support Paris and all the lives affected. I wanted to convey a sense of togetherness.”

Hersh’s budding career is already on the right track as he is now employed by the Sheetz Corp. in Altoona, Pa., in the convenience store chain’s communication and design department.

Redding volunteered with Kegerreis Outdoor for its Project Elevate, where the firm selects inspiring designs to encourage folks to do good in their communities. The pro bono campaign has a social media component where people are encouraged to share what American values inspires them by using the hashtag #ProjectElevate.

The team agreed that Redding’s students would be perfect for the project, giving FSU students a prime opportunity to create artwork for a client, create art with a purpose and compete.

“My students were tasked with creating their version of what represents ‘American Values’ to them,” Redding said. Part of the task included representing the American flag in an original way.

Jennifer Barnhart, marketing director of Kegerreis Outdoor, was wowed by the winning design.

“I love that handprints are seen throughout the design,” she said. “It reminds us that we are all different, yet when we come together, standing as one, we can do far greater things.”

Hersh’s art can be seen through February on billboards on U.S. 11, U.S. 30, Pa. 16 and Pa. 316 in Franklin County and on digital billboards in Chambersburg and Harrisburg. The artwork will then be displayed on billboards in Berkeley County, W.Va.

For more information about FSU’s graphic design minor, visit or contact the Department of Visual Arts at 301-687-4797.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit or Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589