Manhasset Art Teacher Returns To Restore School Murals

Twenty-four years ago, Manhasset art teacher Mark Fay beautified the walls of Munsey Park Elementary School. Now retired, he picked up his paintbrush once again and returned to Munsey Park this year to restore and improve the beautiful murals that he created 24 years ago.
Back in 1997, Munsey Park Elementary School added a new wing onto its building. The foyer, which connected the original building and new addition was a blank slate. Mr. Fay, Munsey’s art teacher at the time, approached the building principal and suggested adding murals to the first and second floor of the foyer. The idea was eventually brought to life in the spring 2000, thanks to the generosity of a Munsey Park family who anonymously funded the entire mural project.
Mr. Fay spent the summer of 2000 and the summer of 2001 painting the downstairs and upstairs murals which took him about eight weeks to complete. Upstairs is a forest mural which showcases the four seasons and downstairs is an ocean mural. He put his own small special touches on the pieces such as including his daughter’s name and his wife’s name on two of the boats in the ocean mural.
“They were originally intended to be teaching spaces for the classroom teachers,” Mr. Fay said. “I put together a committee of teachers in 2000 to get some suggestions on what the two murals should look like based on their curriculum.”
In addition to the two murals, he painted seven “America the Beautiful” murals in the school’s cafeteria with only three remaining today, along with a portrait of Frank Munsey in the school auditorium.
This school year, Mr. Fay, who is now a substitute teacher in Manhasset, approached Munsey Park Principal Dr. Chad Altman and Director of Fine and Performing Arts Dr. Joseph Owens about repairing and improving the murals. Over the years, the walls have obtained stress cracks and marks. With the generous support of the Tower Foundation and the SCA, Mr. Fay began the process. He has spent more than 110 hours on the two murals.
“It has been gratifying to know that the school still considers the project important,” he said. “It is also great because I get to see the kids. They are passing me while I’m painting. I have had a couple of classes come in and I’ll give them a run down on what they are looking at and how it all came about. It’s good to be back in the building again.”
The entire Munsey Park school community thanks Mr. Fay for his hard work and his dedication. His wonderful art will live on for Manhasset students for many years to come.
—Submitted by
Manhasset Public Schools

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