Translating Shared Values into a Vibrant Testament of Community

I have been working with Cayuga Heights Elementary School, in Ithaca NY, on a 4′ x 15′ mosaic mural inspired by the schools values of Community, Respect, Friendliness, Safety and Self Control, Determination, Cooperation, Resilience, and Peace Making. I worked with students to help them take these abstract ideas and turn them into visual images that communicate their meaning. Together with elementary art teacher, Sarah Mountin-Locke, I combined student sketches into an overall composition. Then, students from every grade in the school, made tiles from raw clay. Some made handprints. Some made faces, figures, and other components of the design. And many students made tiles of whatever they pleased! On the first 2 Saturdays in May, we assembled all these beautiful tiles to create the mosaic panels that will hang across from the cafeteria in their school. There will be a grand unveiling on June 9th at 5:30pm, and you are all welcome to attend. Here is a preview of the work.

This project is made possible in part through grants from the Cayuga Heights Elementary School PTA, the Ithaca Public Education Initiative, and the Ithaca Fine Arts Booster Group. Thank you!

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1st St. Mosaic Project year 3: turning the corner

I am so grateful to work with a wonderful team of artists on the 1st St. Mosaic project in Ithaca, NY! 2016 is our third year installing community made mosaic art on the wall of the Ithaca City Department of Public Works wall in the Sciencenter parking lot. And, yes, this year we wrapped around the corner! The mosaic can now be seen adorning the Franklin St. side of the DPW facility. Check out the progression of the project, including many more photos of the completed work on my public art page (under the Community Art tab), or just click here.

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Richford, NY Community Mosaic Complete!

We finished grouting on September 11th. Using masonry stain, in our grout, added dramatically to the overall look of the work. I was pleased that our last day of work on the project was the 15 year anniversary of Sept. 11th, 2001, because creating art together is a powerfully positive statement of values, and a testament to the ability of communities to define themselves, and create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped bring this project to reality! And thank you to the Arts of the Southern Finger Lakes for funding it! And thank you for the many local donations of materials and food that propelled us forward! community build whew! we did it!! wildlifeturkeytree of lifefeeling pleased & proud

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1st St. Mosaic Project

fruit tree & herbal brewIMG_2509glasses profileGaiaRider teapot Volunteers, artists, & mosaic apprentices setting tiles setting the mirror tilesWe did a 2 day community build installation in late August. Here’s some snaps of the fun! This is the 2nd year of an ongoing community built, artist led and organized, mosaic mural (now about 70′ long!), on the wall of the DPW facility, facing the Sciencenter parking lot (and Rt. 13) in Ithaca, NY. Volunteers pictured here are part of Ithaca College’s Community Plunge program. We were also lucky to have several local high school students, hired as apprentices, through the Ithaca Youth Bureau’s summer employment program.

This year we teamed up with the Ithaca Children’s Garden, that is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their Gaia snapping turtle sculptural installation. ICG summer campers (Ithaca area kids ages 6 to 10 years old) brainstormed the design and created turtle and fairy tiles based on their plan. Much of the Children’s Garden is represented in this latest panel of the mural. The outdoor kitchen is shown as a building housing a big steaming bowl over a fire. The bulb labyrinth is shown as a big spiral path. The phases of the moon appear over Gaia and six children that ride her back. To the left, a fabulous teapot pours out an herbal brew, from the Children’s garden. And last, a chicken on a nest full of eggs, under a fruit tree.

Please stop by and enjoy if you are in Ithaca. And stay in touch though our FaceBook page.

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Wild Edible Tiles

Hi there mosaic fans, food security activists, artists, and community members. Here are the tiles you sculpted and glazed! They have been fired twice and are ready to be installed on the wall of the DPW facility on 1st St. in Ithaca, NY, as part of the 1st St. Mosaic Project, right across from the Sciencenter. Nice work!

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Local Food relies on a healthy watershed

This Saturday in Ithaca the Food Justice Summit is happening and I will be there at the Watershed Wall to talk to folks as they do a Walkathon that winds it’s way through downtown. I will also have a table at their street fair where you can come and make a food related tile. If you choose, you can leave your tile with me to be fired and it can become part of a community created mosaic! The Street Fair will be at 210 Hancock St. in Ithaca from noon to 6pm.

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Community Help Grouting Public Art Mosaic

Thank you “Ithaca is Community” volunteers!

A city wide day of volunteering was inaugurated this year by Ithaca’s new mayor, Svante Myrick, on a rainy Earth Day. On the Commons, in Ithaca, a fantastic team of  volunteers gathered and helped me grout one of the panels of the “Spirit of Ithaca”, the public art mosaic I’ve been working on since last summer. I plan to have it installed this summer on the exterior wall of the parking garage at the corner of Tioga and Seneca Streets.

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Public Art

All ten schools in the Ithaca City School District participated in making this ceramic tile mosaic mural. The Ithaca Fine Arts Booster Group and the Ithaca Public Education Initiative generously sponsored the project and the City of Ithaca supported it as well. The mosaic is an image of the Ithaca area watershed with the smooth dark pebbles representing Cayuga Lake inlet and the tributary creeks that flow into it. Students made the tiles that represent the land masses from slabs of clay carefully cut out to create a map.

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