Oswego County comes together to create art

Kali Magnarelli with pen in hand and Samantha Familo holding the original set about enlarging a small photo of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” into a 9 foot by 10 foot mural. The artwork will become a stained glass mosaic assembled by local artists during Harborfest in West Park as part of Showcase Oswego Arts.

In recent weeks, Hannibal High School students have been working on their part of the county-wide art project that will be presented at this year’s Harborfest.

The project, spearheaded by the CNY Arts Center, will be a stained glass mural of Van Gogh’s famous painting “Starry Night” and will consist of various colors of glass bottle fragments. The mastermind behind the concept and creation of the mural is Arts Center member Leslie Paice.

The Hannibal math students of Sally Kingsbury’s class have developed an equation for enlarging the painting, to determine the approximate number of bottles and jars needed for the mural. Using the dimensions of the mural frame, and the average size of the bottles being used, they determined that approximately 3,260 bottles will be needed to complete the mural.

Also involved in the project are the high school’s art students from Deborah Doran’s class, who have worked on laying out the painting on its new 9-by-10 foot canvas.

Doran says that all of her students are excited about the project, including juniors Samantha Familo and Kali Magnarelli. These two girls have become her go-to students for volunteering their time and doing anything that involves community service. Working diligently, Doran’s art class finished the large scale sketch in three short days.

Contributions made to the mural have even come from as far as the state of Arizona where Paice is temporarily staying. She has made frequent trips to local restaurants for their bottles, making this not only a community or county-wide project, but a bi-state effort.

“Art has a way of connecting all humanity,” said Paice.

Paice admits it has been difficult to orchestrate the project from long distance, but she has no doubts that it will be finished. “I am excited to see this idea come to fruition at Harborfest.  It has taken much effort on the part of many people, to whom I am very grateful,” said Paice.

The mural has allowed different groups in the community to come together and create a piece of art while being proactive about recycling. Novelis of Oswego, a business known for strongly advocating recycling, will be constructing the cement board frame for the mural.

This is also just one of the recycled art projects that the CNY Arts Center has planned for the coming months. With their involvement in the farmer’s market this summer, the center hope to integrate fun arts and crafts for youth that involve recycled materials, such as aluminum cans.

The CNY Arts Center is still in the process of collecting the bottles necessary to complete the mural. They are currently accepting any glass bottles that are green, blue, clear, or brown, and have a circumference of three inches or less. Donations of any quantity are welcomed and appreciated.

Those seeking more information on how to donate bottles or jars may visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com.

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