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
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
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