Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Students from P.S. 98, M.S. 67 and Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy created murals for the Douglaston LIRR station

Douglaston just got a little more beautiful thanks to the work of some talented student artists.

On Friday, May 31, the Douglaston Local Development Corporation (DLDC) will unveil six student-made murals in partnership with Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). LIRR recently installed the community revitalization art projects at the LIRR Underpass at the Douglaston station.

“We asked LIRR about a year or so ago and told them we’d be happy to do a mural project,” said DLDC President Rebecca Gellos.

Gellos and the DLDC asked P.S. 98, M.S. 67 and Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy to participate in the project. The schools were asked to create works using nature, history and transportation as themes. Groups of students from each school were given free rein to create painted artworks on pieces of plywood.  

“The goal of public art is to promote a diverse and stimulating cultural environment to enrich the lives of residents, visitors and the community. These murals represent some of the many hallmarks of Douglaston — nature and history — while acknowledging the local transportation setting of the Douglaston Station Plaza,” according to the LDC. 

Gellos shared that other LIRR stations, like the one in Forest Hills, have similar public art projects by professional artists. When the LDC asked local students and their art teachers to create the murals, she said she was “hoping for the best, but wasn’t sure” what the completed works would look like.

But after seeing the finished products, Gellos shared that everyone was “really, really happy with how they turned out. The students are so talented.”

Gellos added that local politicians, including Councilman Paul Vallone, Senator John Liu and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, supported the creation of the murals. The three lawmakers, along with Congressman Tom Suozzi are slated to attend Friday’s event.

In conjunction with the community art celebration, the DLDC is also celebrating the reopening of the pedestrian plaza near the LIRR station. After 18 months, Gellos is excited that the shared space is ready for the community to enjoy.

Upgrades and improvements include a plaza resurfacing, new plantings and outdoor tables and chairs. Gellos said that the first movie night of the season in the new plaza attracted over 200 people.

Next month, the LDC is hosting a movie night on June 21, when they also plan to launch their new Little Free Library.

The event is on Friday, May 31, from 11 to 1 p.m. For more information or to RSVP, contact Rebecca Gellos at rebecca@dougldc.org or 347-946-0017. Those interested can also visit dougldc.org or find the Douglaston LDC Facebook page.

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