PS 39 students help create art installation | In Class column
Posted Oct 20, 12:00 PM
The PS 39 students who worked on the art installation at the Arrochar playground. Also pictured in the back row are Parks Department Public Art Coordinator Elizabeth Masella, PS 39 Principal Tracey Wright, Councilman Steven Matteo, and Sundog Theatre Executive Dir. Susan Fenley. (Courtesy/Lance J. Reha)
We’re highlighting some of the activities Staten Island students are engaged in — both inside and outside the classroom.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Students on Staten Island recently worked with Sundog Theatre and visual artist Lina Montoya to unveil an art installation depicting a large boat going into Ellis Island.
The weeks-long mural that was created with the input of professional and student artists from Staten Island was unveiled on Oct. 8 at PS 39 in Arrochar called the “Ellis Island Cultural Immigration Residency Installation.”
Montoya’s design represents a vessel coming into Ellis Island, full of 3,000 yellow butterflies — a symbol of freedom. The artwork also features the Statue of Liberty, an airplane and the New York Harbor.
The art installation resides on the chain link fence and wall bordering the Arrochar playground where PS 39 students play.
Montoya, a graphic designer and public artist, has created many exhibits and installations on Staten Island, as well as artwork in her home country Columbia, and Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Panama and Mexico. This installation pays tribute to immigrant communities, to the Statue of Liberty and New York as symbols of freedom and liberation.
“My artistic practice is drive by my immigrant experiences,” she said. “My colorful work celebrates cultural diversity and multilingualism; inspired by nature, music, literature and indigenous cultures from Latin American.”
Councilman Steven Matteo and Sundog artist Lina Montoya view the artwork with PS 39 students. (Courtesy/Lance J. Reha)
The installation was made possible by funding from Councilman Steven Matteo (R-Mid-Island) through his Cultural Immigrant Initiative to Sundog Theatre.
“Since I took office, I have been a big supporter of Sundog Theatre and other organizations that provide arts and cultural education in our schools precisely because of projects like these, which greatly enrich our students’ lives,” Matteo said. “The students of PS 39 and their instructors should be proud of this beautiful art installation, and I am excited for many Islanders to see it for themselves.”
The artwork represents a vessel coming into Ellis Island, full of 3,000 yellow butterflies — a symbol of freedom. (Courtesy/Lance J. Reha)