A huge mural depicting four acclaimed artists, created by special...

A huge mural depicting four acclaimed artists, created by special needs students, was unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Spirit of Summer Art Festival in Huntington Station on Sunday. Credit: Rick Kopstein

The Spirit of Huntington Art Center unveiled a 32-by-20-foot mural of four acclaimed artists on Sunday, created by more than 500 special needs students at the center.

The mural depicts Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Frida Kahlo, who stood out to the students among the artists they have studied at the art center, said Charles Evdos, executive director of RISE Life Services, a nonprofit that runs residential programs and other services for adults with special needs. 

"The program has grown dramatically," Evdos said of the center. "It provides us services for the individuals we serve, which is amazing, and the community. The community is involved in art, music and dance, also. So it's all-inclusive."

RISE collaborated with the Spirit of Huntington to purchase the building that houses the art center around a year ago, Evdos said. The art center had previously been renting the property.

The "Chuck Close-inspired" mural was unveiled during the Spirit of Summer Art Festival at the art center, which included more than 75 vendors, according to Ashley Herkommer, director of special events. 

The work of art involved collaboration from more than 20 organizations, said executive director Michael Kitakis. 

"I think that the mural is just a representation of all of those individuals coming together to create something beautiful for the town, and for the building to display," added Tina Moreno of Life's WORC, a nonprofit that supports people with intellectual disabilities and autism.

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