Painter will add more murals to Sandstoner Park in Potsdam
BY ADAM ATKINSON
North Country This Week
POTSDAM -- Downtown Potsdam will see more color on its surfaces next year.
SUNY Potsdam painting teacher Amy Swartele plans to paint additional murals on the concrete wheels in Sandstoner Park and the concrete planters in Fall Island Park.The village board passed a resolution granting her permission to get the brushes moving at their meeting Monday, Oct. 19.
Swartele, a professor at the college for the last 20 years, just finished a large psychedelic mural on the side of the Potsdam Tile Company building on Raymond Street, and one on the college's campus as well.
She is applying for a grant through the St. Lawrence Arts Council to pay off the cost of the materials for the murals proposed for Fall Island and Sandstoner parks, she told the board. Her grant proposal will be submitted by Oct. 31.
The professor plans to start a mural painting class at the college in the fall of 2021. Students in that class are expected to collaborate on a planned mural on the walls of the proposed North Country Arts Center. Read more about her efforts at https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/depts/art/Swartele.
Potsdam Village Mayor Ron Tischler pointed out to Swartele that murals in Fall Island Park may not be in place long term. The village has plans to build a skatepark there using funding from the $10 million DRI grant the village was approved for last year. However, the mayor said that might not be for a year or more. Other communities who have received DRI funding in the past, notably Lake Placid, are just now getting funding three years out.
Swartele said the nature of mural culture is that the works are always temporary, and subject to frequent change.
"Art can generate prosperity and economic interest," Swartele said, "but if its up there for 20 years, no one wants to see it by the 20th year."
The board passed the resolution allowing the professor to paint the surfaces in the parks, with Village Trustee Maggie McKenna abstaining. McKenna is the director of the St. Lawrence Arts Council and would be administering the grant for the works should Swartele's proposal be accepted by the council for the funding.
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