HIGH BRIDGE BRANCH, BRONX, NY While I was the art director for an engineering and architecture firm in 2010, I was given the assignment of designing the Children's Room at the New York Public Library's High Bridge branch in the Bronx. My first design, a Tuscan poppy field, was rejected by the client because it "didn't look like the Bronx." True enough. My second design was approved, featuring the High Bridge aqueduct between the Bronx and Manhattan. My 14-foot watercolor was scanned, printed, and installed on the walls that are 90' wide and 30' wide by 15' tall. Additional details include an abstract tree canopy and banners of fruit trees.
The environment represents the historic aqueduct that first brought fresh water to Manhattan. The intimate reading circle encourages a love of books.
A real doorway cuts through the aqueduct design into the main lobby. My abstract canopy of leaves was used by a Broadway set designer for a sculpture of a tree in the reading circle.
Early in my teaching career, I was asked to create a large mural to liven the recreation and meeting room where I taught at South Side Middle School in Rockville Centre. I designed the painting and applied for a grant from the school district, which was enthusiastically approved. Students assisted in completing the painting in six stages. The project was presented in Albany as successful use of grant money, and the resulting painting is quite popular. The mural was painted in 2013.
Students enjoyed working on this immensely since it is a creative outlet and a fun way to spend Friday afternoons improving the school environment. Learning to paint on a large scale is a rare opportunity for them. Students gained a better understanding of New York in terms of geography and architecture, and we exchanged stories about experiences throughout the city.
Final details include the four East River bridges. I am grateful to the Rockville Centre Teacher Center for giving me the grant to complete this project.
Filling this 36-page book during a visit to Japan in February 2018 was a most exciting artistic challenge. I used media that resists smudging and included many aspects of Japanese culture, from cuisine to architecture to manga. The trip broadened my understanding of Asia and Japanese hospitality.
I was a chaperone on a high school trip called the Kakehashi Project. We were invited to visit Japan, compliments of the Japanese Government, in order to learn about their current affairs, history, and customs. It was an outstanding way to tour a new place.
A trip like this requires an adventurous palette and skillful use of chopsticks! We were fed like royalty, each meal including many ingredients and flavors.
Copyright © 2018 Kerri McKay, Fine Artist - All Rights Reserved.
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