NORTHCREEK-In an effort to brighten a strip of Main Street in North Creek, local artist Kate Hartley will be inspiring community members of all ages this summer to create a mosaic mural on the cement wall that runs along the street.
"The mural will depict a scene representing the nature and recreation of our area," Hartley said. "Rafters paddle through swirling whitewater on the river, distant skiers schuss down still-snowy trails, a pair of turkey hunters emerge from the woods with a prize, and flowers and creatures populate the riverbanks."
Hartley anticipates the project to take three summers to complete.
"The motivation for the project is the site itself," she said. "The view that greets visitors to town is a bland, gray retaining wall."
After a year of planning, the project was brought before the Johnsburg Town Board and received approval this summer.
Adults and children alike can get involved this spring, if they want to learn the art of mosaics. An adult class will begin at the Wevertown Town Hall April 17. Children aged 4 - 18 can register for the TPCCA Art & Nature Camp, which will have a mosaic theme this year.
As an instructor for the Johnsburg Fine Arts Group, a group of adult painters, and several other local organizations which offer classes to children, Hartley is equipped with the painters to make this a true community project. It will not require any outside work.
"I am in the unique position of being able to rally the labor and creativity needed to accomplish this project," she said. "Already, four groups of students at Johnsburg Central School are creating mosaic elements (with tiles glued onto sheets of fiberglass mesh) to be added to the big mural this summer."
JCS students will all be lending a helping hand as second graders craft trout, bass and pike and high school students will be slumping glass from old wine bottles in a kiln to form the mosaic tiles.
The different aspects of the project are beings funded with support from an Adirondack Arts in Education grant and a LARAC\NYSCA grant.
Support can be provided through the donation of old porcelain tile, stone or glass tiles, seashells and flat stones.
"This will not only beautify the town, but will provide participants with an active way to be creative and to provide the town with a beautiful, unique "welcome" for generations to come," Hartley said.