Mural photos bring Maywood Academy’s history home

In 2022, students and staff who attend our Maywood Academy moved into a brand new learning space at 925A Watervliet Shaker Road in Albany. The school is bright and welcoming, with many amenities and accommodations for meaningful growth and education.

Blending past with present

Like any move, it is fun to make a new space your own. Often that means decorating with mementos of good times that happened in other places.

A brightly colored photo of a mural painted on a school wall featuring a dragon that is breathing fire and sitting on a pile of books.
Photo posters, now on display in the halls and common spaces at the Maywood Academy, are a reminder of good times spent together and students hard at work creating the murals that decorated the walls of their former school.

Recently, the Maywood Academy got a pop of color from a series of photos of the hand-painted murals that decorated the walls of the former Maywood school.

The photos feature favorite elements from the murals that were created by students and staff over two years in the early 2000’s with the support of visiting artist Valerie McCarney. The murals were bright, color-filled and inspired by what students were learning in their classrooms—from Greek mythology and world cultures to local history. They also included song lyrics, inspirational quotes and even a graffiti-filled wall that each of the student artists had signed.

“When I came to Maywood as its principal [in 2021], the first thing I noticed was all the color that was in the hallway,” said Maywood Principal Gabe Barbato. “It was sad to me, in leaving the old school, knowing all the work that had gone into the murals was going to be left behind.” 

“When we moved into our new building the walls were blank,” Barbato continued. “I thought what better way to fill them than with artwork from the past.”

Along with making the halls more cheery, the photos honor a project and piece of Maywood history that was—and remains—meaningful to so many former and current students and staff.

“When you know a little piece of you is on the walls of a school you went to, you feel a little more pride. I didn’t want to lose that because we moved to another location,” said Barbato.

“A main goal is to create a Maywood Academy culture. We want students to feel a sense of pride about attending Maywood Academy,” Barbato said. “This project really aligns with what we are trying to do as a school.”

Watch a video about the Maywood mural art installation