A mural done in partnership between the Glen Cove Public Library, City of Glen Cove Veterans Services and members of the community. (Photo courtesy the Glen Cove Public Library)

Glen Cove Honors Veterans Through Community Art Project

The Glen Cove Public Library and the City of Glen Cove Office of Veteran Services asked the community to drop off their used bottle caps at locations such as the Glen Cove Senior Center, Glen Cove Schools, Panera Bread, Starbucks and local businesses like Trubee Hill and Chef Morris Cafe.

Bottle caps donated by the community.
(Photo by Jennifer Corr)

And the community certainly listened, leaving the Glen Cove Public Library History Room archivist and librarian Lydia Wen, artist-in-residence Amanda Fisk, Michael Danchalski, a carpenter who has done several projects for the library, Glen Cove Veterans Services Office Director Anthony Jimenez and volunteers of all ages buckets of bottle caps that would be used as materials for a mural honoring veterans.
On the morning of March 2, Wen, Fisk, and Danchalski separated the bottle caps by color, preparing for the volunteers’ arrival.
The mural, four separate structures built by Danchalski and painted by Fisk, that spell out the word “hope,” were placed on tables, ready to be transformed.
Danchalski explained that the structures were built out of recycled pallets that were broken down.
Once finished, the mural will be displayed at various locations around the city. Danchalski built stands for the mural that slide into the back so they can be tilted. Sandbags will be placed on the back to keep it from blowing over.
“We wind tested that already and it passed,” Danchalski said, later adding “Lydia always has fun projects. It’s interesting to get involved with them.”
Fisk said that because the project was connected to veterans and Earth Day, which falls on April 22 this year, they chose red, white, blue and green colors.
“Doing a different color inside the letter from outside the letter will help offset, no matter [what bottle caps] we get, and no matter what we place,” Fisk said as she explained the color pattern of the mural. “In our conversation, between the three of us, we decided on the word ‘hope.’ It was a very quick decision that made sense to everyone.”
Fisk said she’s undertaken similar projects before of traditional mosaics completed by a large group.
“You have to be able to have flexibility for the community to come in and make some decisions with you,” Fisk said. “It’s a lot of letting go and seeing what happens, which is really fun.”
The Caps For Hope project was not the first time the Glen Cove Public Library honored veterans. For the past three years, the library has arranged the Glen Cove Salutes Military Tribute Banner Program, displaying the banners in Morgan Memorial Park from Memorial Day to Veterans Day. Library staff also interview veterans and archive their photos as part of the Veterans History Project, coordinated by the Library of Congress, which receives copies of the interviews.
Wen explained that because leftover money from the Glen Cove Salutes Military Tribute Banner Program was available last year, the library established an essay contest for middle school and high school students to increase community engagement. This year, enough money was available to fund Glen Cove Salutes, the essay contest, and a community art project that everyone could participate in.
“That’s why we’re here,” Wen said that morning.
During tough times like these, in a hostile social and political climate, connecting children with veterans is essential, Jimenez said.
“[Wen] has a lot of love for veterans,” Jimenez said, later adding, “I think the communication with the community is very important and action taken by them. It’s not just an idea; it’s actually action and action makes much more of an impact then say, when you’re learning or reading from a book. When you put what you’re reading into practical use, it has more of an impact.”

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