NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Not quite. If you look up, you might see artwork made by Nelson County High School (NCHS) students on billboards around town.

For the first time, NCHS students designed public service announcements for billboards in the Nelson County area. Students submitted designs supporting different community causes, such as safe driving, adopting shelter pets, controlling litter, avoiding pollution, and raising mental health awareness.

“It can be pretty motivating for young creatives to see their art out  in the community, beyond the school or mom’s fridge door,” said Terry Ward, art-teacher leading the initiative. “I teach that anyone can do art; it’s not just for the gifted few.  In some cases, it’s the first time ever that a student has made digital art, and then we’re publishing it on a billboard,” Ward added.

This community effort showcases the talent of local high schoolers, rather than promoting advertisements that seek profit. The Southeast Media Corporation has been the leader in donating space for students.

The NCHS Art Department announced a second wave of student-designed billboards will be focused on kindness-related messages.

Adrieanna Bibb’s pet-adoption concept, was created during a photography class.

(Photo courtesy: The NCHS Art Department)

Kyra Gehlert’s road safety message was created while learning about digital image-making techniques in an art class.

(Photo courtesy: The NCHS Art Department)