BY ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE
A mural painted by a group of high school art students from Queens that depicts the famous Venetian explorer Marco Polo was unveiled at Marco Polo Ristorante in Carroll Gardens on May 21.
Six students from Information Technology High School in Long Island City started the acrylic painting last November and said they used historical documents to create a portrait of Polo along with scenes of his legendary exploits.
“I love it. It came out incredible,” said Marco Chirico, chef at the longstanding restaurant. “A hand painting was missing. We needed some color.”
Soufian Mankour, a sophomore, said that working on the large painting has given him a new appreciation for art.
“This has opened me up to paintings. I was never interested, but now I really like it,” he said. “It was a fun experience.”
Another student, Kevin Astudillo, said he enjoyed spending time with his classmates in the after-school sessions when they worked on the project.
“It was my first time working with paint,” the 12th grader said. “I made friends while working on this project.”
Chirico said the painting would soon be moved to a permanent spot inside the restaurant.
“We’re extremely fortunate,” said Jorge Luis Cordero, the art teacher who supervised the creation of the mural. “Marco and his father have always taken an interest in art and we thought it would be a great idea.”
Freshmen Tasnia Hussain and Mary Jane Faderan; and sophomores Ivon Ramirez and Taynia Sharma also contributed to the large-scale painting.
Marco Polo Ristorante will be donating $800 to the high school’s art program as well as two $100 awards to Faderan and Astudillo for their hard work on the project, Chirico said.