Thursday, June 13, 2024

Alumnus’ mural brightens up Keeseville 


By Nadia Paschal

Blink and you still won’t miss it — the new mural in Keeseville, New York, that is. The colorful, large mural can be found at Fledging Crow Farm, which sits off of I-87 at Exit 33. The piece was painted by SUNY Plattsburgh alumnus Kilian Croghan, who was commissioned by the owner of the farm.

“He wanted something that would be inviting and clearly communicate what the place is about,” Croghan said of the owner’s vision. 

The wall is visible from the Northway, so they both wanted it to be large enough and grab attention.

Croghan graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in May, with a bachelor of fine arts. Shortly after, in Ireland, he studied plein air painting as well as urban sketching. Since returning home, Croghan has been doing various freelance projects. From having his work in the fall exhibition at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts to illustrating for an independent board game, he takes every opportunity to put himself and his work out there. He also expects to present his work at the Peru Gallery in March. 

The influence behind Croghan’s work comes from the natural world around him and the stories he sees that he can tell. Inspired largely by Celtic mythology, he works “from both observation and imagination to create a variety of narratives.” His aim is to “create a sense of timelessness” for those who view his work. 

Croghan saw that there was already a sunburst design on the wall, and decided to build upon that, incorporating it into his own work. 

“I did a few concept sketches digitally, taking inspiration from farm and work scenes seen in old medieval manuscripts and the like,” Croghan said.

Using a monochrome palette of colors, he settled on a design both he and the owner were happy with, received a budget and quickly got to work. 

He found that it did not take long for it to come together. The work on the mural went smoothly. The biggest obstacle Croghan faced was braving the cold weather, but he managed to finish the mural in two full days, across two weekends.

Croghan had not done anything this large since high school, and when the opportunity came to do another project of such a large scale, he was more than open to the idea. 

“It was a different medium than I’m used to, and it was definitely a different stylistic approach, but I still really enjoyed working on it,” Croghan said.

If you find yourself driving down the Northway anytime soon, be on the lookout for the piece. It serves as a reminder of the talent that SUNY Plattsburgh produces and the legacy of the BFA program. Not only has it fostered talent and bonds between students and staff, it has also allowed artists to give back to the campus as well as the surrounding community. As a product of the BFA program, which is no longer accepting students, Croghan has been able to progress in his portfolio and in his career.

Learn more about the BFA’s disappearance on page 1. 


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