Honoring Memories and Mechanical Marvels: Hannah Viano and Matt Kennedy’s Collaborative Tribute to Auto Tech Donors

Our diverse campus community and creative energy intersect in some very interesting ways. Recently, a unique collaboration unfolded—an example the artistic and educational spirit on the TwispWorks campus. Hannah Viano, a visual artist renowned for her public art installations, teamed up with Matt Kennedy, the MVSD’s Auto Technology teacher, to create an installation as a tribute to the generous donors who funded the brand-new Auto Technology Facility.

At first, the blend of automotive themes with Hannah’s previous work seemed an unlikely match. “Automotive? Is that a good fit?” she asked. But the idea quickly grew on her, fueled by her love for public art and community involvement. “I got very excited about how we could include students and donors… all the different ways we could bring people in,” Hannah shared.

Her connection to cars is personal and deeply rooted. Though not a professional mechanic, Hannah has a lifetime of car stories— fixing a Volkswagen in her backyard at sixteen and inheriting her father’s passion for eclectic vehicles. This project felt like a nod to her dad, a profound mentor, now in his 80’s, who instilled in her a curiosity and knowledge about cars that she cherishes to this day. “My son Ely is just finishing up driver’s ED and will get his license soon, while my dad will likely be done with driving due to his eyes. I had been thinking a lot about the freedom my son is experiencing, and the change my dad is going through, while we’re somewhere in the middle,” said Hannah.

The collaborative aspect of the project took shape when Hannah and Matt facilitated a design session with students from Liberty Bell, the ILC, and a visit from local metal artisan Barry Stromberger. The group tinkered with old car parts, brainstorming and exploring designs that could embody the essence of automotive history and personal experience.

Hannah also engaged the auto tech facility’s donors, inviting them to share stories of their own vehicular adventures. These narratives not only inspired elements of the artwork but also highlighted the broader impact of automotive knowledge. “Even a little bit of automotive education…did so much to make people feel way more empowered,” Hannah reflected. This sense of empowerment is a crucial aspect of the auto tech program’s goal—to demystify the mechanics of cars for new generations.

The installation is complete, hanging between the garage doors of the new facility. At first glance, the piece features several poignant components: a heavy, maze-like, solid piece of metal from an automatic transmission, a chrome hood ornament from a ’55 Chevy, and a steering wheel cap identical to the one in Hannah’s first car. The installation is tactile and auditory, as the gears click, move, and turn with a touch.

Hannah’s project is a rich tapestry of community stories, educational journeys, and a shared love for the automotive world, weaving together the threads of past, present, and future of the automotive experience.

Thank you Hannah Viano and Matt Kennedy for creating a lasting symbol on our campus!