By Emily Drooby
There is new artwork hanging on the side of St. Saviour Catholic Academy in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Portraits of health care workers, a symbol of the school’s commitment to their community.
The idea is transforming an act of hate, done to art originally on display outside of New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.
“There was a mural hanging up, it had been defaced by someone,” explained school principal Susan Walsh.
Cruel words were scribbled across what was supposed to be a beautiful symbol of thanks. A parent alerted Susan to the vandalism, suggesting maybe the students could fix it.
“We thought about it for a little bit, and we didn’t want to interfere with the integrity of the artist’s work, and so we thought we would maybe do our own take on the ‘thank you’ artwork,” said art teacher Avalyn Mathis, who was in charge of the project.
So, they did come up with their own take. The artist of the original pieces has since fixed some of his work. The giant ‘thanks’ that accompanies them remains tarnished and is being removed. These new pieces are a symbol of thanks and support.
“I am thankful for them, and I am glad they are working so hard for our country,” said student Madeleine.
The students also created and set-up an inspirational word garden.
Christina Bandini was part of that. “Here we have the children’s artwork as another way to bring kind of a positive spirit as people in our neighborhood are walking by,” she showed.
The school hopes that because of their close proximity to the hospital, the pieces will greet health care heroes on their way to work.
The gesture is part of a larger lesson, one important to Catholic education.
“As Catholics and Catholic children, we want to show people how much we care. And so we are showing them, through our words and our actions,” Susan explained.
Students are showcasing their Catholic values by bringing light and positivity to the neighborhood.
NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital sent a statement to Currents News about the students work, “We are grateful for the incredible support our community has shown our health care heroes during this unprecedented challenge, and we thank the students of St. Saviour for this wonderful expression of their appreciation and respect.”