Newburgh - On Thursday, June 10th, almost a year to the day after the dedication of the City of Newburgh Courthouse, City and Court officials, area dignitaries, and local artists gathered to celebrate artist and designer Bryan Guglielmi’s completion of the mural project which graces its lobby. The mural, entitled "Newburgh - the Evolution of an American City" is comprised of 10 individual panels that span the walls at the top of the stairs. Over 40 feet long combined and 9 feet tall, each panel represents a different era in the evolution of the City of Newburgh, including but not limited to panel number 10, the multi-cultural Lady Liberty figure which is an allegorical reference to the concept of justice. Blind? Or just looking the other way? The work has received breathtaking reviews by courthouse staff and visitors.
The artwork and design was commissioned under the City’s "Percent for Art" program. Percent for Art refers to a process by which a small portion of a municipal construction project is separated from the larger project and completed by an artist contractor instead of the general contractor. The artist completes work that would have been a part of the project in any case, and thus enhances the building with the touch of an artist without adding to the cost of construction. The City’s Percent for Art ordinance was developed by the City of Newburgh Arts and Culture Commission (NACC) and the Department of Planning & Development, and enacted by the City Council.
NACC chair Stuart Sachs, stated, "Percent for Art brings municipal construction back to the individual. It transforms a functional building through the touch of an artist and reintroduces it to the public as a vibrant part of the social fabric. Bryan has successfully knitted Newburgh’s history into its new hall of justice. It is especially gratifying that our first Percent for Art commission was won by a hometown boy."
Guglielmi attended Newburgh Free Academy and graduated from Storm King School. In 2008, he graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. While there, he also worked as a paid apprentice, painting with professional artists on several projects, including New Windsor’s Carriage House Art Studio, in New York and Washington, D.C. In 2008, Guglielmi started working with the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia on solo and collaborative murals and mural designs. He has sold work to private collectors and has shown nationally.
"This truly amazing young artist, who grew up here, and attended local schools, is a wonderful role model and a shining example of the good things about the City of Newburgh, and its tremendous potential," Mayor Nicholas Valentine commented.
Hon. Alan D. Scheinkman, Presiding Judge for the 9th Judicial District commented, "On behalf of Chief Judge Lippman, we in the Unified Court System congratulate the City of Newburgh and Bryan Guglielmi on the completion of this important and vital work of art, which pulls together important elements from the history of the City and ties it in a unique and challenging way to its setting which, like the mural itself, is both historic and new."
Hon. B. Harold Ramsey, Newburgh City Judge added, "Newburgh-The Evolution of an American City" depicted in the mural, represents Newburgh past, present and future; active, lively people going about making Newburgh a beautiful city. This mural will remind all of us that Newburgh is a city whose roots of the present are deep in the past."