Committee Paves Way For Mural Project To Continue

A young artist stretches to paint one of the murals created a few years ago.

A young artist stretches to paint one of the murals created a few years ago.

OSWEGO, NY – The Springboard Mural Project has launched another season of bringing some color to Oswego’s Riverwalk West.

Dozens of young artists are collaborating on around 50 new murals to be painted along the walkway. The murals will be added to those located along West Linear Park near the Utica Street Bridge.

A young artist stretches to paint one of the murals created a few years ago.
A young artist stretches to paint one of the murals created a few years ago.

They are designed and created by local students.

It’s the committee’s sixth round of artwork, according to Dawn Metott, youth activities coordinator for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

Metott was at Monday’s Physical Services Committee on Monday night to request the city’s approval to continue the program.

Plans have been made for 46 new murals.

“It’s like twice as many as last year,” Metott told the committee. “Twenty-four of them (artists) are actually new to the mural project this year.”

Youth ages 13 and older, and 8- to 12-year-olds (with parent attendance during painting) are welcome to participate. Many of the youth artists have come back year after year to participate.

The project combines the artwork of the youth from various backgrounds with the guidance of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Metott said. They have received support from local private and corporate citizens through financial and product support for this year’s project, she added.

Committee chair Mike Myers congratulated the young artists for what they’ve done for the city and what they’ll do this summer.

“Thank you for doing such a good job,” he told the youngsters that were in the audience Monday night.

“We all appreciate the hard work you guys have been doing,” added Councilor Eric VanBuren.

Council President Ron Kaplewicz asked how the previous murals were holding up and if there had been any damage to any of them.

A couple of them have been “tagged,” Metott said.

“We’ll fix them up like we did last year and we’ll keep going,” she said.

The committee sent the request to the full council for consideration.

Each year, the students create their own designs and submit them to the Common Council for approval prior to committing the work to public space.

The mural project is a youth-focused initiative, with the design concept and implementation directed by local young people with the support of the Springboard Mural Committee.

In 2009, it was originally a city sponsored community development plan to address graffiti issues.

“There are multiple benefits related to the success of this project. The students who participated in this project became more involved in school, graffiti issues are being addressed, and relationships have been developed by a wide cross-section of the Oswego community,” Metott explained. “Instead of just covering the graffiti, the community has come together and invested in something special that reflects the sense of community pride which has made this project successful.”

Works of art that were completed in previous years can be viewed along the river walk on the west side of the river, directly below the Utica Street Bridge.

Anyone interested in participating, either as a mentor or youth artist or in donating to the program, should contact Metott at 349-3575 or [email protected]

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