Many years ago the Saratoga Mentoring Program organized and carried out fourteen mural projects in Saratoga Springs. The program collaborated with a number of artists to lead both outdoor and indoor mural projects – celebrating the history and culture of Saratoga Springs.
The Mentoring Program helps kids create positive connections in the community. Through the mural projects, youth learned much about history of the area; become more familiar with important institutions, including the Saratoga Springs Public Library, The Arts Center, and Skidmore College; learned lessons in painting, architecture, and science. Youth have been challenged physically as well as technically – while they climbed scaffolding to create their works of art.
Importantly, both while preparing for these projects and while painting, the youth met building owners, business people, and professionals who work nearby the mural sites. They also met respected members of civic groups who assisted with the projects. Positive exposure to positive role models has been beneficial to the youth.
The murals are constant reminders to the kids, their families, and the community that youth can contribute in creative and meaningful ways to their community. The kids’ feelings of self-worth and accomplishment has been much enhanced by participation in these projects.
Celebration, located on Caroline Street, is the first mural painted by the kids in 1996. The mural honors the students' diverse cultural backgrounds, while also celebrating Saratoga Springs' rich cultural heritage.
Music! is located in the entranceway to Caffe Lena's. It is dedicated to the many musicians who have performed at the coffeehouse.
|A Victorian Porch
A Victorian Porch was inspired by the Victorian architecture of Saratoga Springs. Youth climbed three tiers of scaffolding while painting this colorful mural located on Division Street.
|The High Rock Spring: Past, Present, and Future
The High Rock Spring, located on Phila St., celebrates all those who have visited the healing waters of the High Rock Spring, including Native Americans, Revolutionary War heroes, and people in the present time.
Portraits features a portrait gallery. Located at The Arts Center, this playful mural highlights individual works of art painted by the young artists.
This moveable 5'x6' mural was painted by eight young people as a celebration of Black History Month. It is located at the Mentoring Program office, and travels to sites around New York.
Twenty-five youth participated in this project, which was created to honor musicians with roots in Saratoga Springs, especially those connected to families of the kids. JAZZ is located at the corner of Caroline and Henry Streets.
Wildflowers is an indoor mural, located in the entranceway to the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Each of the 20 wildflowers depicted in this mural can be found in Saratoga County.
|The West Side
The West Side celebrates the history of the West Side, while honoring the people who have settled there, especially people of African-American, Italian, and Irish heritage. It is located on Division Street at the West Side Recreation Field.
This moveable mural commemorates Solomon Northup, a free citizen of New York, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. At the time, he and his wife, Anne, and three children were living in Saratoga Springs.
These mural projects were funded, in part, by Decentralization, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Saratoga County Arts Council. Support was also provided by Skidmore College, the Society for the Preservation of the Underground Railroad, The Children’s Museum at Saratoga, and several other institutions.