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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Mariposas in the Dominican Republic

TINGOopt4webTubmanOpt4web

photo by Amy S. Martin
photo by Amy S. Martin

DrawingTingoEdwardonWheelgroutingTubmandancingThis November I had the incredible opportunity to work with girls at the Mariposa Foundation, DR. I was invited down to make mosaic portraits with the girls who attend the center in Cabarete, DR. We worked with a local potter and made tiles from raw clay, fired them and created these 2 mosaic portraits. One is of Mama Tingo, a Dominican woman, an activist farmer, who led a movement for the rights of repressed people. The other is Harriet Tubman, conductor on the Underground Railroad, who risked her life for the freedom of others.

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Kitchen Back-splash Project

A woman recently contacted me to commission a mosaic back-splash for her kitchen. She already had red accents in her kitchen, so she chose a theme of red vegetables and fruit. Here are some shiny cherries, watermelon, radishes, peppers, tomatoes, and apples. (I made plaster casts of real peppers and used those to get some really fun relief forms to work with!) My client’s contractor installed the tiles and she sent me a few shots of the kitchen now. Enjoy!

counterFocal Point pepper Radishes & Cherries Red Veg  watermellonTomatoe & Cherrystove

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Spiral of Life

This summer, I decided to make an outdoor shower. This mosaic was soon to follow. The river rocks are smooth and pleasing to the touch, and their understated colors allow the green of the ceramic tile leaves to really stand out. These natural shapes, colors, and textures blend well with the woodland setting of the shower and the other materials from which it is made.

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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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Buddhas Big and Small

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.

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