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New mural welcomes MacArthur travelers

A new mural by Heather Buggee, executive director

A new mural by Heather Buggee, executive director of the Huntington-based non-profit group Splashes of Hope, welcomes residents and visitors to Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip. (Jan. 27, 2011) Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

A new mural is welcoming residents and visitors to Long Island who pass through baggage claim at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma.

The airport commissioned Heather Buggee, executive director of the nonprofit group Splashes of Hope, to paint the mural, a “whimsical” depiction of Long Island, from Montauk Point to Manhattan. It includes a few landmarks -- like the Montauk Lighthouse, the airport and the Statue of Liberty -- popping up along the way.

The mural is painted in bright colors and follows the welcoming, informative theme of the baggage claim area at the airport, said Catherine Green, the airport's spokeswoman.


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“Some people land at the airport and they really have no idea where they are,” she said. “We like to give them an idea of how diverse and special Long Island is.”

Buggee’s Huntington-based organization creates hand-painted, one-of-a-kind murals for hospitals and orphanages all over the country, Green said. The group has also gotten requests from across the globe and has painted one mural for a Ukrainian orphanage. 

“Placing this large, fanciful mural in the middle of our baggage claim area serves as an upbeat welcome for travelers from around the country,” said Islip Town Supervisor Philip Nolan.

This is the second Splashes of Hope mural to be installed at the airport. The first, of a painting of the seaside, is located in the Mother’s Room on the second floor and was installed two years ago.

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