Saugerties village mayor William Murphy has enlisted the help of middle-school art teacher Bob Slate to put together a group of school district young artists to paint two murals on blank walls at the Donlon gym above the Partition Street firehouse.
“We have what are basically two open canvases,” Slate said during a recent tour of the Donlon with Murphy.
“I’d really like to see murals that honor sports in Saugerties,” said Murphy, who is also in charge of the Saugerties Athletic Association’s youth basketball program, held at Donlon.
The Donlon is named after colonel Roger Donlon, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam.
“I’d like to see our youngsters to older kids honored on the walls,” Murphy added. “I’d also like to see something honoring Roger in there as well.”
One section of one of the murals will honor Jack Keeley, who was the founder of the Saugerties Athletic Association and the man behind most of youth sports in Saugerties.
“He ran it all,” Murphy said of Keeley.
“Keeley will be an integral part of this mural,” Slate promised.
“This will be a really great thing for this gym,” added Slate, who is the high school boys’ lacrosse coach and helps run a youth lacrosse program in Saugerties.
Work, using mostly high-school artists, will begin in the coming weeks. The basketball program wll provide most of the funding for the paint, rollers, and brushes — and whatever else is needed.
Slate said the murals would be completed before the end of the school year.