Angry birds, cityscapes and visions of an ideal garden filled the center of McGolrick Park, decorating gates and hugging the columns of the Shelter Pavilion. The work came courtesy of Greenpoint’s smallest artists, who came to participate at the last in a series of art shows organized by the McGolrick Park Schools Alliance.
On Saturday, June 16th, students from Alliance members PS 34, PS 110 and St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy contributed arts and crafts based on the theme of McGolrick Park. PS 110 provided crayon drawings of “Polygonal Insects” (2nd grade), a “Memory Quilt” (4th grade) and an evocative collage of city buildings (Pre-K). “It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase the artistic talents of our students in a community setting,” said PS 110 Principal Anna Cano Amato. “We reach a wider audience.”
Cub Scout Troop 469 also participated, contributing large, colorful paper-mache heads of Angry Birds, characters from the popular video game. The heads represented the frustrated fowls of McGolrick, irked by the increasing garbage that litters their home.
Similar environmental concerns were what led to the creation of the Alliance in the first place, after a December meeting addressing the deteriorating state of the park. Facing severe budget cuts, community members took it upon themselves to maintain the cleanliness and safety of McGolrick through a massive push for volunteerism. Since then, the Alliance has worked to increase a sense of responsibility for the park through activities such as tree planting and stewardships, clean ups, children’s concerts and art events such as the one held on Saturday.
Contests were also held for the best artworks from each school. A team of judges, consisting of Councilmember Steve Levin, local artist Sally Webster, Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s representative Slava Rar, Open Space Alliance Executive Director Stephanie Thayer, Town Square Chairperson Susan Anderson and Alliance member Holly Fairall marveled at the quality of the work displayed. “I’m very excited that we’re encouraging our children to pursue their artistic endeavors,” said Levin. “I’m proud of all who’ve participated.” All the winning pieces will be displayed at the 807 Manhattan Avenue branch of Capital One Bank for a week.
Holly Fairall thanked all those who participated in the event, including sponsors ioby.org, Partnership for Parks and Towns Square. But many of those present lauded Fairall for having completed a tremendous amount of community work in a short time. “Holly has done a remarkable job organizing schools and parents in Greenpoint to beautify McGolrick,” said District Leader Lincoln Restler. “And the artwork is exceptional.”
Since starting the Alliance, Fairall has seen major improvements in the park. Lightning and garbage cans have increased, and the rat population has whittled down. However, with Fairall committed to prior obligations for the rest of the year, it is hoped that other residents will step up to lead future Alliance events, such as the proposed “Adopt-a-Plot of McGolrick” whereby small parts of the park would be maintained and cleaned by families, local organizations and businesses.
“If the community wants to continue to see events like these, they have to pitch in,” said Fairall. “I’d be happy to train them how to fundraise and organize.”
To find out how to help, contact Holly Fairall at (917) 280-0776.
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