Home » High school mosaic project to be installed at Schuylerville’s Hudson Crossing Park

High school mosaic project to be installed at Schuylerville’s Hudson Crossing Park

A depiction of one the mosaic walls for the Schuylerville High School Mosaic Art Project

Thousands of individually and uniquely designed clay tiles are awaiting installation at Schuylerville’s Hudson Crossing Park, the tiles all pieces of what will ultimately be a 12 feet tall, 6 feet wide mosaic wall. In 2021, a group of 15 students formed the Mosaic Design Team, meeting weekly with Schuylerville High School art teacher Su Luke to brainstorm ideas and create sketches for a mosaic structure with the theme of the Champlain Canal. From there, students spent two years researching the history of the canal and gathering visuals of barges, farming, industry, animals, flora and fauna native to the Hudson River area.

In September of 2023, students met with Mosaic Artist Ann Thane at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam to view mosaics and sculptures. Over the next year, Thane mentored Schuylerville students as they worked to create a large-scale interdisciplinary project that provided opportunities for students, staff, and members of the community to be involved in. 

Moasic tiles

“I don’t think the students had any idea what this project was going to look like until they saw it coming together, and we started laying out the first 12-foot wall,” said Su Luke. “We have kids, three in particular, who want to go to college to be mosaic artists. Their enthusiasm is incredible.”

The subject of the mosaic is the history of the Champlain Canal, and will feature three walls each depicting the rich history of agriculture, industry, and the canal barges. One wall will depict the canal with an image of a boy with a mule pulling a barge down the canal from the 1800’s, the second wall will depict agriculture, and the third wall will illustrate industry which was brought to the area when the canal opened. The mosaic will be installed in Schuylerville’s Hudson Crossing Park.

“It’s just the kind of thing this whole park is built on: community service, volunteerism, getting people out in nature, and celebrating the history of the canals,” said Mary Roberts, Vice President of the Hudson Crossing Park Board. “The mosaic will tie everything together.” 

Art teacher Su Luke with Paul O'Keefe.

Two Schuylerville High School mosaic classes were created for the 2023-24 school year to focus on creating the pieces, but the overall scope of the project encompassed the entire school community and beyond. Students from grades K-12 created tiles throughout the year, as well as 5th grade art club members; current and retired Schuylerville teachers, as well as many other faculty and staff members contributed a tile to the mosaic; NYS Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner visited the district to participate in the project, and 92-year-old Korean War veteran and NYS Senate Veterans Hall of Fame inductee Paul O’Keefe spent time in the high school art wing as well. His tile will serve as a permanent reminder of his service to the country. 

“It truly has been a community effort,” said art teacher, Su Luke. “I can’t even tell you how many hands have touched this. It’s really special because mosaics last for thousands of years. We are really making a landmark that the community has had a hand in. To me, that is really magical.”

The next step in the project is to secure a contractor to install the concrete base of the mosaic, which will determine the timeline for final completion.