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Saturday, May 25, 2024

North Warren and Blair to Collaborate on Main Street Mural

This wall will be a canvas for students of Blair Academy and North Warren Regional High School to tell the story of Blairstown and its surrounding communities. Photo by Joe Phalon.

Spring usually brings splashes of color to places like Main Street, and this year there will be some splashes of a more permanent nature as students from North Warren Regional High School and Blair Academy collaborate on a mural depicting Blairstown and its surrounding communities. 

And you are invited to participate.

The mural will be rendered on the wall on the north side of the Presbyterian Outreach Center, facing what’s become known at “Gourmet Green.” The bulk of the artistry is taking place during Bair’s yearly Day of Service on May 18 and 19. Anybody 12 or older who knows how to use a paintbrush is welcome to help, said Liz Dwyer, the head artist of the project. 

“We really want to show how significantly art can change a neighborhood,” Dwyer said. 

The idea had been incubating for some time. Gina Trish, an art teacher at Blair Academy, and former board member of the Blairstown Enhancement Committee (BEC), had helped kickoff the project. But, Dwyer said, like many projects it got pushed to the back by the pandemic. Last year during Day of Service, when Blair students traditionally fan out across the Blairstown Village area to clean, sweep, rake and plant, the idea was revisited. 

“We approached Pastor Dave Harvey at the Presbyterian Church, and he loved the idea,” Dwyer said. 

With Kelly LaVerde, Dwyer’s counterpart at North Warren, they brainstormed ideas with students and residents of the area and decided to create a mural depicting Blairstown’s rural character along with its rich history. 

The students gathered images and created sketches that include native wildlife, a depiction of the Delaware Water Gap and other historical features of the area. 

Their ideas were submitted to the church board and were approved. Blair Academy is supplying the paint, brushes and other items for the work, and the Blairstown Enhancement Committee is also providing support. 

Work begins 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. To sign up, email Dwyer at LizDwyer.Art@gmail.com. 

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.