Augusta Savage Mosaic Project to Be Held at SUNY Ulster

STONE RIDGE – SUNY Ulster will host an Art Force 5 community project on Thursday, October 25, in the Student Life Center from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Students and community members who stop by this event will work with the Art Force 5 team to paint one tile of a 250-piece mosaic tribute to sculptor, civil rights activist, and local resident Augusta Savage.

Community members, the campus community, and their families are invited to this event. Participants should come prepared to paint and learn about the life and work of local artist and civil rights activist Augusta Savage. A mosaic tribute, in which each participant can stop by to create a tile, will be completed and displayed at the SUNY Ulster campus. Through the project, participants will also explore issues of equality, community, and empathy, both historically and in today’s world.

Augusta Savage was an African-American sculptor who is associated with the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. As an activist, she worked for equal rights for African-Americans in the arts. In 1934, she became the first African-American to be elected to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. She was also a teacher whose work influenced a generation of artists. In 1945, she moved to Saugerties, where she taught art to children and wrote children’s literature until her death in 1962. Her Saugerties residence is listed on the New York State and National Register of Historic Places as the Augusta Savage House and Studio.

The Art Force 5 uses the accessibility of art and the popularity of superheroes to explore social issues and engage the community. The team inspires creativity over conflict through non-violence workshops and community-based art. Five artist “heroes” comprise the team, while over two hundred college students have joined in to help communities address conflict through art. The group was founded at Alfred University and has been granted support through SUNY, the State University of New York.

Meg Sheeley, Coordinator of Campus Life at SUNY Ulster, says, “Collaborating with Art Force 5 will bring a sense of community to our community college. Augusta Savage, as the focus of the piece, is very relatable to modern day. Like many people who move to Ulster County from New York City, Savage traded the hustle of Harlem for serenity in Saugerties. Creating a piece of art dedicated to her shows the ties of our community to the importance of art and diversity in U.S. history.”

The Art Force 5 is partnering with SUNY Ulster SGO, the Multicultural Club, COIL, and Academic Travel to present this free event. To learn more, contact Deborah Kaufman at or by phone at (845) 687-5261.

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