Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the owners of the building at 56 Glen St. The building is presently owned by Christian and Melanie Weber of Common Roots Brewing Company.
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – If you’re driving between Glens Falls and South Glens Falls, you’re likely doing so via Glen Street, along the bridge that connects the two communities via Route 9. Across from Cool Insuring Arena, 56 Glen St. – one of the oldest standing buildings in the city – is getting a makeover.
On Thursday, a rainy forecast couldn’t be beat. A finished school art project across four panels created a record for a group of students given a unique chance to make their art public.
Last Tuesday, June 14, Glens Falls High School art teacher Susan Botch led the high school art club to the building to start work on a public mural project intended to take the next two weeks to complete – working around finals, of course. The building was most recently home to a bridal shop, and is currently owned by Christian and Melanie Weber of Common Roots Brewing Company. Botch said that the couple reached out to the club to bring new life to three window panels and an arched former doorway on the building.
“For many artists, young and old their art is so personal and showing it is not always easy,” said Botch. “It is much easier to share as a collaborator. Public art has such a large audience, it is a great experience for them to be part of something like this and be given an opportunity and the trust of one of our downtown business owners. It is always a good thing to be part of something larger than yourself.”
See the project’s visual timeline over the last two weeks:
It’s not the first time some of these students have taken paint to the streets of Glens Falls. Senior Lily Gallagher was among art club students who painted a mural on the side of Hill Electric at 174 Broad St.
“It’s so much fun,” said Gallagher, who plans to continue pursuing art after graduating this month. “A lot of people are going to pass by it, so it’s just fun to share with the community.”
The project came up at the club’s last monthly meeting on June 3. Botch said that students were given open reign and that she and the club talked about local history while coming up with a concept. At the end of the day, an array of distinct student ideas drove things forward.
“They were so willing to collaborate and endorse others’ ideas. Honestly, I was a bit nervous about our time frame and the length of the planning but it was pretty cool to watch them work together and create a steadfast plan,” Botch said.
The small building is far from the only place where public art is being made a reality this summer. The Arts District of Glens Falls project has signed on three artists to create murals across downtown – the same downtown where a hand-painted Adirondack Chair was unveiled last month. At the Glens Falls Shirt Factory, building owner Eric Unkauf is working with artists to bring fresh life to the halls of the building.