Saugerties artist unveils new Main Street mural

A mural by Kelli Bickman has been installed on the side wall of the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street in Saugerties. (Photo by David Gordon)

(Photo by Kelli Bickman)

Multi-media artist Kelli Bickman has created a new mural on the side of the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street in Saugerties to replace the one that was damaged during a windstorm. The mural installed on July 21 is completely different from the original. The village name, Saugerties, is painted in large type across the top. Inside, a starry sky stretches over a yellow leaf above a blue sky with the words “Strong Together” at the bottom.

Bickman said she enjoyed working with students, who did much of the finishing work on the mural. The actual painting was done on six wooden panels in Bickman’s studio inside the Odd Fellows Hall. Workers from the village and the town performed the final installation of the panels on the side of the building using a 62-foot boom lift. 

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Mayor William Murphy said the daily work started at about 7 a.m. and was completed by 9 a.m. to minimize the disruption to traffic along the street. “Kelli came to me a few months ago and asked if the village wanted a replacement for the mural that was damaged,” Murphy said.

The theme, “Stronger Together,” was Murphy’s suggestion, Bickman said.

Bickman’s other murals on Saugerties walls include the complete restoration of the mural on the side of the Reis Insurance Group’s building and a mural on the wall of the M&T Bank on Main Street, which was painted by Bickman and youngsters from the Saugerties Boys & Girls Club.

There are 7 comments

  1. Kelli

    Thanks for the article…it is important to note that this was a COMMUNITY EFFORT…I designed it but there were MANY people who worked on this project. Professional artist Sarah Conrad-Ferm painted the clouds, another accomplished artist, Julia Warr, helped with lettering, art director Jennifer Bickman painted much of the Universe in the hands…Emmallyea and Cathrine Swonyoung and my daughter Isabella elped with many important details. Also,
    Another important fact is that Jennifer Hicks offered her space in the JJ Newberry for us to paint…not at the Odd Fellows as stated.

    There were many contributors from GoFundMe who helped along with the Village of Saugerties, and William’s Lumber in Rhinebeck also donated the paint.and gave us a deal on wood.

    This is Grassroots Community Engaged Art. I couldn’t have done it without the support of our beautiful people.!!!!

  2. JR

    Apart from the painting appearing to be black lungs and an apparent heart attack, the profanity of painting over hard-made historic brickwork, and the complete disregard for the art and sweat of the bricklayers themselves, this mural-painting madness must stop.

    Where I reside this madness is also occurring, and, interestingly enough, with one mural artist who keeps being reported as “volunteering.” “Volunteering” my elbow.

    Beyond those objections, this is yet another example of co-opting graffiti meant as protest.

    1. Bill H

      I guess you missed the “strong together” part. And that the mural was not painted on the brick, which is clearly shown in the photos.

      It’s a beautiful mural, Kelli, as are you for crediting so many that helped. Don’t be discouraged by the nay-sayers!

    2. Rip Van Winkle

      Holy cow, are “black lungs” and “co-opting graffiti” really your takeaways from this article about a new piece of community art?

      Had you actually read the article, it’s hard to miss that this mural was painted on six wooden panels and installed, so rest easy; the “hard-made historic brickwork” and legacy of the bricklayers will be just fine.

      To Kelli and all involved; it’s beautiful work and a striking image to look at from street level. Well done!

  3. AB

    This mural, the people who supported and funded it, and the artists who painted it, help make me proud to be from this town! Great job to EVERYONE involved, including the building owner!

  4. EDITH BOLT

    This is so funny! I worked on the new mural on the backside of the building at the beach in Saugerties, and had no idea another mural had just popped up!! I guess there really is a mural painting madness and its beautiful in more than one way!!! JR it is a shame you see only ugliness and bad taste in something that so many people enjoy and take pleasure in. To keep our town vibrant and alive, to create community and give kids a chance to be part of doing something together that is public and beautiful is in my experience only a positive thing. I know from that very recent experience how great it was to be working side by side with other people, outdoors after all those months being cooped up with just my own kin.

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