June 13, 2019

Color the Canal to Celebrate Local Section of Erie Canalway Trail

The Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail is pleased to announce the first Color the Canal, a Schenectady County celebration of the local section of the historic Erie Canalway Trail. Color the Canal will provide visual and sculptural art to welcome more than 650 cyclists who pedal the trail from Buffalo to Albany each July during the Cycle the Erie Canal ride, as well as the many Capital Region residents who cheer them on along the way.

“The Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail offers Capital Region residents and visitors alike many miles of safe and scenic recreation,” says Gillian Scott, president of the Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. “We will welcome the Cycle the Erie Canal riders to our region with art that celebrates the city, the county and the 20 miles of trail in Schenectady County.”

Thanks to the co-sponsorship of CREATE Community Studios Inc. and with help from the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp. and the ElectriCity Arts District, sculptural and visual art is planned on the trail from Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam to SUNY Schenectady on July 13 and from the Jewish Community Center in Niskayuna, where the cyclists are overnighting, to Lions Park near the border with Albany County on July 14. A chalk art event – open to the public and artists of all ages and abilities – will also take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 13 at SUNY Schenectady.

“Bicycling is a mental as well as physical activity and we want to give riders something to look at, perhaps laugh at, or make them think,” Scott says. “We’re inviting community groups as well as individuals and businesses to contribute art that recognizes the county’s rich cultural, historical and recreational offerings.”

The organizers hope to create at least 100 pieces of visual art to decorate the portions of the trail CEC cyclists will ride. The group is seeking sponsors for materials and community groups and others to create signs and other pieces of art. For those who need a little guidance or inspiration, professional artists from CREATE Community Studios will assist at several upcoming events.

Color the Canal is partially funded by a grant from the Schenectady County Initiative Program. Please contact co-sponsor CREATE Community Studios at 518-348-9290 to donate materials or to volunteer to create artwork. Contact Gillian Scott at 518-372-8478 to become an event sponsor.

For more information on Color the Canal, contact Gillian Scott, president of the Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, at 518-372-8478 or [email protected].