Youth Created Public Art Mural Unveiled at Walkway Over The Hudson

The latest public art mural created by Hudson Valley youth was completed last week by The Art Effect’s National Art Honor Society Chapter #2242 on the Highland side of the
Walkway Over The Hudson State Historic Site. The mural titled “Connection” is located on two Royal Carting dumpsters, that were previously eyesores, in the parking lot adjacent to the visitor center on the Highland side of the Walkway. “Connection” is a visual representation of the Walkway connecting both sides of the Hudson River. The beautiful mural depicting a bright and cheerful snapshot of the Walkway’s bridge was designed by NAHS member Rose VanBenschoten, a student at Arlington High School.

NAHS murals

Students including Emma Trezza, Jahnvi Mundra, Katia Estrada, Greta Laubscher, Saoirse Woods, Catarina Gilnack, Ryan Garcia, Juliana Sanchong, Julie Woods, Lilly Santora, Dalya Hanel Sheshany, and Fiona Shanahan each participated in the planning, brainstorming of design, preparing, and painting of the murals. The 12 members who participated in the mural painting attend high schools throughout the Hudson Valley including Poughkeepsie High School, Arlington, Our Lady of Lourdes, Oakwood Friends School, Roy C. Ketcham, Haldane, Wallkill, Warwick Valley, and New Paltz.

“For quite some time, Park Manager Eric Hoppe and I had been trying to figure out how to make the west side
entrance to the park more attractive, realizing that nearly 250,000 people a year walk by two dumpsters! This was a great solution, and we are truly honored to have been able to work with The Art Effect to make this happen”. Says John Storyk, immediate past Chair of Walkway Over The Hudson. National Art Honor Society students chose images such as the Poughkeepsie Post Office, the iconic gates into Vassar College, and the recognizable murder of crows that flock near the Mid-Hudson Bridge. To represent the Highland side, the students painted animals associated with the Hudson Valley such as bees, ducks, and fish. The psychedelic movement and colors of the sun’s rays were chosen by the students to create gorgeous rays that smile down and extend to both sides of the river. This project is supported by John Storyk, Walkway Over The Hudson, and other volunteers from our communities.

This semester, National Art Honor Society students at The Art Effect also raised just under $400 for the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) to purchase and prepare vital humanitarian aid and provisions for Ukraine by selling their own artwork printed on greeting cards at the Walkway Over The Hudson’s MayFest Event last month. They also participated in various park cleanups including the Community Matters 2, Pershing park clean up. Started by the National Art Education Association (NAEA) in 1978, the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) inspires and recognizes 9th – 12th graders who have shown an outstanding ability in art. The NAHS strives to aid members in working toward the attainment of their highest potential in art areas and brings art education to the attention of the school and community. The Art Effect is unique in offering this opportunity to arts-focused youth in the Hudson Valley.

This year, The Art Effect has 15 members in Chapter #2242 who are selected from nominated high school students at The Art Effect who meet the requirements of excellence in the study and creation of art, a minimum of an 87 weighted GPA, and attendance and participation in our Art Institute, Spark Studios, MADLab and/or ArtsBridge programs. The 2022 National Art Honor Society members include Greta Laubscher, Emma Trezza, Cat Gilnack, Lilly Santora, Jahnvi Mundra, Rose Vanbenschoten, Juliana Sanchong, Julie Woods, Ryan Garcia, Fiona Shanahan, Kaley Slader, Saoirse Woods, Katia Estrada, Janae Brown, and Dalya Sheshany.