The Long Island Children’s Museum unveils a new mural on...

The Long Island Children’s Museum unveils a new mural on Friday in Garden City. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Long Island families are now permanently represented in a new mural at Long Island Children’s Museum.

The museum on Friday unveiled the 1,100 square foot brightly colored mural “Kaleidoscope of Imagination,” which is next to its entrance that faces the parking lot.

The project, a celebration of Long Island culture through history, was a three-month collaboration between muralist Viktoriya Basina, the museum, and Long Island children. Some of them were at the unveiling, along with elected officials and museum staff.

Beginning on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the museum held several sessions over school breaks, asking parents and children to meet and discuss their ideas with Basina. Visitors also filled out questionnaires on what they wanted to see.

“We asked a couple of questions like what does that LICM mean to you? What does community mean to you? What messages do you want this mural to convey?” said museum president Erika S. Floreska. “We had so many inspiring answers.”

Basina then drew a sketch based on the responses, and presented it to visitors at later workshops.

Once a sketch was finalized, the museum had “paint parties” for families to color some of the slots, such as the solid colors or the handprints in the tree of life, grass, and sand.

Basina and her two assistants painted the more complicated patterns in their studio. Each part was painted on a special cloth that was pasted onto the wall, similar to how wallpaper is applied. The installation took five days, beginning on April 27 and ending on May 1.

Each symbol represents Long Island’s communities in history.

Muralist Viktoriya Basina stands in front of the new mural...

Muralist Viktoriya Basina stands in front of the new mural at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City on Friday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Eleen Ackie, of Brooklyn, said she was visiting the museum for the second time with her son, Adam Adrian Vaughan Toney, 7, over Easter weekend and learned about a paint party.

“This adds spectacular, meaning, flavor to the outside of the building,” Ackie said. “We have visited a couple of children's museums and the Long Island one has additional things that they have never seen in some of them.”

These include two children blowing bubbles under the night sky, highlighting the museum’s beloved bubble exhibit. Inside one bubble is a medicine wheel, referencing the importance of indigenous history.

A cardinal, a robin, and a blue jay, three of Long Island’s prominent birds, sit in a tree of life. A lighthouse symbolizes Long Island's maritime history. 

“I hope that just the color and the composition inspires them [visitors] and makes them happy,” said Basina.

The museum had exhibited mosaic self-portraits of children in the mural's spot when it moved to its 11 Davis Ave. address in 2002.

Stephany Roldan, of Glen Cove, had taken her sons Ivan Reyes, 11, and Elias Reyes, 6, to one of the museum’s paint parties. Her sons pointed out their handprints on Friday, Elias noting he likes the bubbles the best.

Dillon Mansfield, 10, said he was surprised to see the finished product.

“I was happy, now it's not gray anymore,” he said. “Now it has a glimmer of color.” 

Rita Amoroso, of Glen Cove, said she learned of the painting sessions when her sons, Jayden Romero, 6, and Matthew Romero, 5, were completing the museum's Together to Kindergarten program that provides kindergarten readiness skills.

“It looks really beautiful,” said Matthew.

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