By zwackart on May 16, 2017
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!
Posted in In the Classroom | Tagged art, clay, collaboration, community, Community build, Elementary school, hand print, handmade, Ithaca, mosaic, NY, peace making, public school, school, values | Leave a response
By zwackart on October 8, 2016
I find inspiration and rejuvenation in the incredible natural beauty of the Finger Lakes region of New York, where I live. Here are some photos from a recent trip to Robert H. Treman State Park. Many of the paths leading through this awesome geological formation are impressive examples of human labor that use the vocabulary of the landscape. Stone bridges, walkways, and stairs lead a visitor to stunning views, and serve as a reminder that humans have been appreciating this particular waterway for quite some time, and have gone to great lengths to help others enjoy it too. I am grateful for the opportunity to walk these paths, and the chance to share their beauty. Happy Autumn!
By zwackart on September 28, 2016
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.
Posted in News & Events | Tagged 1st St Mosaic, artist collective, community, Community build, farm, food security, handmade, Ithaca, livestock, mirror, mosaic, New York, NY, public art, Sciencenter, tile | Leave a response
By zwackart on September 3, 2015
We 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.
Posted in Recent Projects | Tagged art, City of Ithaca, clay, collaboration, collage, community, Community build, DPW, Gaia, Gaia's garden, Isaiah Zagar method, Ithaca, Ithaca Children's Garden, mural, NY, public art, Science Center, Sciencenter, tiles, volunteer, Youth | Leave a response
By zwackart on January 27, 2015
The first panel of five mosaic panels, in the ongoing 1st St. Mosaic Project, is now complete and stands sparkling in the sun for all to see!
Posted in Recent Projects | Tagged 1st St Mosaic, ceramic, ceramic tiles, community, Community build, food chain, food security, Ithaca, life cycle, local, mirror, mosaic, New York, plants, Sciencenter, tiles, Tompkins county, Tourism Bureau, tree of life, wild edibles | Leave a response
By zwackart on July 2, 2014
This is my third year teaching art classes to the students in the Cornell Upward Bound program. Today we worked on figure drawing and some portraiture, in charcoal on large format paper, with a model.
And the model is a young woman who took private art lessons from me when she was 7, and now she is 19! She is just home from her first year of college. I recognized her at the grocery store and struck up a conversation. Turns out she is still into art! Yay!!
A very positive experience all around!
By zwackart on May 25, 2014
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!
By zwackart on April 3, 2014
Posted in News & Events | Tagged 1st St. Mosaic Project, art, ceramic tiles, community, Community build, education, foraging, Ithaca, New York, NY, public art, Science Center, Sciencenter, tile making, wild edibles | Leave a response
By zwackart on October 19, 2013
I am working with a team of artists and we are planning a community built mosaic for a wall of the DPW waste water facility on 1st St. in Ithaca, NY. The site is right across the street from the Sciencecenter. We are using the method that Isaiah Zagar, of Philadelphia, uses. We have written a few grants and are planning to hold tile making workshops in the Northside neighborhood, work with 6th graders at Boynton Middle School, and have an installation event in August of 2014. We have a Facebook page set up so you can keep up on the latest info as we set dates for the workshops and let people know where, in the neighborhood, they will be held. We will also have a list of materials we are hoping to get donated and info about how and where to do that. Ithaca, and the Public Art Commission in particular, have really done a fantastic job of identifying walls and spaces for public art. I am really excited about this project because it will be one of the first opportunities for the community to be involved in the making of the art that will create the sense of place where they live.
By zwackart on October 19, 2013
If you look very carefully, you may see the face of Buddha in the hills of Ithaca, in my mosaic Feels Like Home, on Tioga St. And perhaps you remember my Potential Buddhas series of paintings? Well, these days I am making Buddha faces, of many shapes and sizes, as ceramic tiles. They can be a tiny icon for your alter, a touchstone to keep in your pocket to remind you of your own true nature, or maybe the keystone in a the tile work you are doing on your back patio. However you choose to enjoy them, I hope they bring a little peace to all that see and touch them.