South Suburban College Student Artists Win Best Group Project Award for Tinley Park’s Benches on the Avenue Contest

SOUTH HOLLAND, IL – Eight South Suburban College (SSC) Art & Design students were presented with a municipal award from Tinley Park recently for their artistic bench entered in Tinley Park’s 13th annual Benches on the Avenue contest. Narita Sharma, Devin Walker, Kathleen De Jong, Shelby O’Hara, Natasha Swindle, Alexis Jannotta, Samantha Bynum and Nicholas Wyatt received the award for Best Group Project for their entry “The Marauder’s Bench.”
Being part of a group project and sharing their love of the Harry Potter stories was the primary motivation behind the students’ choice. The front depicts a well-known scene, while the back was designed to allow for different artists’ styles by using a gallery theme. The group used their individual strengths and experience to work together during class time and until school security closed the building at night.

Benches on the Avenue has become one of Tinley Park’s most popular attractions, drawing thousands of residents and visitors annually to the downtown area. The colorful benches feature the work of both amateur and professional artists. This year’s theme “Once Upon a Time … Favorite Children’s Storybooks” features 20 artistically decorated benches embellished with unique materials. The benches may be seen now through October 1 along Oak Park Avenue from 172nd to 176th streets.

“The bench was a great opportunity for our students to create and compete in a public art competition and commission,” said Carol Weber, SSC Art & Design faculty member who oversaw the bench project. “I’m so pleased their outstanding work was rewarded with the Best Group Project award, and I am appreciative to Tinley Park for inspiring such wonderful creations through this unique art program.”

The SSC Art & Design Program awards Associate Degrees and certifications with classes in painting, drawing, sculpting, pottery, photography, graphic design and more. The college has three galleries on the Main Campus in South Holland that are open to the public. For more information about SSC programs, visit or call (708) 210-5718.

Pictured: “The Marauder’s Bench”
Pictured: SSC Students received the award for Best Group Project in Tinley Park’s Benches on the Avenue contest for their entry “The Marauder’s Bench.”