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In Our Schools Today

Port Authority Commuters Treated to Student Art

Fourth and fifth grade students from PS 94 in the Bronx pointed in excitement when they saw Art on the Horizons, a huge, color-saturated collage measuring 18’ x 6’, hanging in the entrance of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. They created the piece in partnership with students from the Mount Vernon Elementary School in Newark, NJ and the Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center in Harlem.

The collage illustrates a whimsical vision of transportation in the 21st century. Arts Horizons’ teaching artist Kit Sailer guided the students as they created stories about exotic travelers, transportation, and destinations. They then drew, painted, and cut out the components of their stories, which were assembled into the giant collage, interspersed throughout a colorful backdrop portraying the urban sprawl of New York and New Jersey.

The mural will hang in the Eighth Avenue Entrance to the bus terminal for a full year. Seeing their work on the wall of such an important public space, and knowing it will be seen by 67 million people, is an experience the students will never forget.

The mural was unveiled on June 19 at Port Authority by Paul King, the Executive Director of the Arts and Special Projects for the DOE.  As he cut the ribbon, Mr. King said that the pure joy on the children’s faces was extremely inspiring to him. The cross-state collaboration was heartily endorsed by DOE Chancellor Dennis Wolcott, late New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

This is the third collaboration between Arts Horizons and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, with mural displays by fourth graders from PS 63 at JFK International Airport in 2003, and artwork by Newark’s Mount Vernon Elementary School at Newark Liberty International Airport in 2009.  Each of these exhibitions has been a unique experience for the participating students, teaching art skills and teamwork and boosting self-esteem. 

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