Mural project underway at NYA

A philanthropist and transnational artist Nichole  Blackburn of Big Sky Countries will be donating a mural project to the Newtown Youth Academy, a non-profit sports fitness center located across from the Municipal Center on the Fairfield Hills campus at 4 Primrose Street.

Blackburn intends to transform several of the facility’s now-blank walls into scenes that elicit the spirit of a community that is healing from a national tragedy, the murder of 26 first-graders and faculty in the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

Through the images Blackburn will create, the artist hopes to reflect the strength, courage, vibrancy and health of this community and the academy’s youth and adult participants.

“I was moved by the fact the NYA gave parents a safe place to bring their children to play with

friends, free from televisions and news crews…Sharing the same value as Big Sky Countries, I knew I wanted to help the NYA in their journey of cultivating an environment where kids can be kids,” Blackburn said in a news release.

Big Sky Countries focuses on Art as therapy, incorporating new approaches to art creating a positive

environment for youth. Each mural Blackburn creates is an intentional reminder to stay humble and

appreciative because regardless of one’s hometown, “we are all under the same sky,” she said in the release.

Blackburn has delivered Big Sky Countries’ message to schools, orphanages and youth centers around

the world, including Thailand, Bolivia, New Orleans and Ireland.

NYA Founder, Peter D’Amico, is thrilled that Blackburn chose the NYA for Big Sky Countries’ next

mural donation.

“While ‘therapy through play’ is the organization’s primary

means of helping our community to move forward, we recognize that the arts are equally healing,” D’Amico said. ” I know

that when the work is complete, our walls will match our spirits, and the spirit of those who use our facility

to play, exercise and gather.”

In addition to Big Sky Countries’ donation, Sherwin Williams has donated all of the paint; Purdy, the

application tools and supplies; Modello Designs, the decorative stencils; and, Magna Construction the

mural preparation services.

For more information about the mural project, contact NYA at203-426-0088 or visit the website:


Nanci Hutson