The Art World Expanded
Roy Budnik, owner of the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center and Art Centro, discuss the evolution of art in Poughkeepsie and the plans for the future. Many of the art we see when walking on Main Street is the work of Nèstor Madalengoitia or Franc Palaia. Madalengoitia, who simply signs Nèstor on his art, is originally from Peru, but moved to Poughkeepsie about 15 years ago. He has been commissioned to create murals all over the continent, including Key West, Florida and Nova Scotia in Canada. Budnik describes Nèstor as extremely civic minded, and someone who enjoys bringing the community together with his art. When the Walkway over the Hudson was initially opened in October of 2009, Nèstor created a medallion representing the town of Fishkill in the Hudson Valley. This medallion can be seen at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center. One of Nèstor’s more recent additions to Main Street is the mural of Nelson Mandela, which he completed after Mandela’s death in 2013.
Another notable artist, whose work is displayed on Main Street, is Franc Palaia. His 16 x 130 foot mural, titled “’Olde Main Street,” was painted in 2002 and depicts seven of the most popular businesses that existed at the turn of the century.
Many of the shops in Poughkeepsie welcome the artists’ work. As long as the shop owners approve the design of the art, and the artist refrains from incorporating any signs about the city, no permits are necessary. Poughkeepsie is currently in the process of restoring Main Street and Budnik has high expectations. Main Street had a period of inactivity in the 1970s when the city build the two east-west arterials. Since then, Poughkeepsie has worked to rejuvenate and revitalize the city. Budnik foresees a continuing growth in the presence of art along Main Street. “Murals enliven a community with their art and has started to take route here in the last 15 years,” Budnik states. In the coming years, Budnik hopes to transform Market Street into an artists’ corridor, connecting the North and South side of the city. With visualizations of 3D installations, sculptures and murals, Budnik has ideas of people strolling from one demonstration to another.
More information regarding the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center and the expansion of art in Poughkeepsie by viewing their website: http://www.midhudsonheritage.org/.