Hudson Valley Tattoo Company Empowers Students w/ Hallway Mural
I was scrolling through Facebook recently, and the post below was suggested to me. I was mesmerized by the vibrant colors and amazing attention to detail as I saw both fictional and real-life heroes portrayed in the hallways of Poughkeepsie High School.
The post below from Hudson Valley Tattoo Company reads:
UPDATED the newest completed mural at Poughkeepsie High School! Full of superheroes, anime and so much more! We’re excited to see what they have in store next major shout out to @joepimentelart for helping the kids bring this to life and shout out to our community (YOU) for helping the art program thrive
I had to learn more, and I was lucky enough to get in touch with Hudson Valley Tattoo Company owner, Diego Martin, about the process that went into the recent collaboration.
Conor: "Tell us about the partnership between Hudson Valley Tattoo Company and Poughkeepsie High School. What got this art project started?"
"I always wanted to create a fun event that allows us to bring local artists together and help our community. My sister-in-law introduced me to Heather Duncan-Carter, the art teacher at Poughkeepsie High School. She told us about the Art Club, an after-school art program run by her, and how much help they needed as art class budgets were being cut.
Just like that, “Harvesting Hope” was born. After a few years of hiatus because covid, we celebrated our 6th “Harvesting Hope” this past November, collecting over $16,000 and a truckload of art supplies. These donations allowed us to partner up with Joe Pimentel, a fantastic local muralist artist, to create a one-of-a-kind mural in the high school hallways, purchase needed art supplies, and even fund a trip to NYC Museums."
Conor: "How long did this project take?"
"Joe loves to have the high school kids involved in all his school projects; it is a fantastic experience for them, making their gloomy gray hallways pop with color, positive messages, and energy. I brought in some of my co-workers one morning, and we helped paint for a bit, but the kids worked hard and were almost done by the time we arrived. The project took about two weeks from start to finish."
Conor: "What is the purpose of a project such as this in schools?"
"As an artist, I find art very therapeutic. It will immerse you into a different world where your problems, whether problems at home, insecurities, or anxiety, don't belong, and you can express yourself freely without fear of judgment.
I want to inspire and create a sense of community; school shouldn't be intimidating; the building shouldn't be soulless. Creating these murals allows the kids to express themselves and make their second home beautiful."
Diego said that the responses from the students have been fantastic and that they are all super thankful for this opportunity and always happy to help. We were able to get a few comments from some of the students, which you can see below: