Bank Street School for Children '93
The biggest skill I learned from Bank Street was to think and understand the world differently; not only the core values the school teaches but the confidence and belief in yourself and belief in the impossible to make anything happen.
Paul Kruger, SFC ’93, attended art schools throughout his early life, including the specialized fine art high school LaGuardia Arts, later earning his BFA at The School of Visual Arts in lower Manhattan. In 2008, Paul began to revisit the path along the Hudson River, seeing seas of industrial man-made New York City driftwood left for waste. He became enthralled with the possibilities of where the pieces came from, what they were in their past lives, and what he could transform them into. He began recycling the driftwood into sculptures. As he fine-tuned his craft, he began to take on bigger projects in 2012, making furniture, tables, and fine sculptures from fallen trees across the nation. He paired the natural wood with contemporary steel bases, forming a new collection. From childhood swords to organically shaped sculptural furniture, the designs of Fallen Industry, Kruger’s company, come from seeing new purpose and beauty in what would otherwise have been discarded or destroyed.
Hi, my name is Paul Kruger, graduating class of 1993. The biggest skill I learned from Bank Street is to think and understand the world differently; not only the core values that Bank Street school teaches but the confidence and belief in yourself and the belief in the impossible to make anything happen. I have to say there wasn't any one particular activity; it was more the atmosphere than any one person or event. Math, science, writing—we’re all taught the fun creative solutions. This helped keep otherwise wandering minds like myself interested and engaged. The impact was honestly that I sought out environments like that to surround myself with. A boring history class just wouldn't cut it after you've learned to learn in that type of atmosphere; perhaps giving me, driving me into my long-term path for art education. I get flashbacks all the time of the deck teachers, friends, and the amazing outdoor field trips that we would explore new worlds like farms, outdoor adventures, and even politics going to Washington, DC. But the one thing that was consistent was the warmth that I felt in regards to those memories. It was always a very welcoming environment. The advice I can share with students is to take what you learn and run with it. For me it was thinking for myself; it was not accepting limitations, what the status quo was. I think it gets ingrained into you and it pushes you throughout your life and that's been very helpful and something that I take with me.