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District students help create community mosaic

What began last summer as a program at Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy has blossomed into a community art project for more than 3,000 City School District of Albany students.

 

The students and other community members are designing thousands of clay tiles in a variety of shapes and colors to form a cheery 900-square-foot mosaic that will cover the entire side of 255 Orange Street in Sheridan Hollow, home to the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region.

The project is the brainchild of Lissa D’Aquanni, director of com-munity relations for the Community Loan Fund, a nonprofit community development organization located on the corner of Dove and Orange streets.

 

The original project at Schuyler was so successful that she and artist Jillian Hirsch reached out to district Art Department Chair Kate Wright to coordinate other schools’ involvement. All 17 district schools got on board. Students in elementary through high school have created and painted clay tiles this spring with guidance from Hirsch.

 

Hirsch, who designed the mural, met with members of the Sheridan Hollow Neighborhood Association, residents and community members for input on
their vision of what they’d like to see in the mural. Its theme (see drawing at right) is the resilience of community and nature; the design will depict honey bees and monarch butterflies in a wildflower garden.

 

The mural will be installed starting in July and the Community Loan Fund is seeking volunteers to help cement tiles to the wall and install grout. If you want to volunteer, please e-mail Tina Ross at Tina@mycommunityloanfund.org.

 

The mural will be unveiled at 11 a.m. on Aug. 3.

 

(Pictured above right, Arbor Hill Elementary fourth-grader Heavenli Ocasio on May 23 put the finishing glaze on her butterfly tile, one of some 3,000 being created by City School District of Albany students as part of the 255 Orange Street Community Mosaic Mural in Sheridan Hollow.)

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