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!


Light on Water on Rock

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!

Treman Park Treman Park Treman Park fishing for leaves Treman Park Treman Park Treman Park


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.


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


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.


Upward Bound Drawing at Cornell

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!


Public Art Mosaic Unveiling

Feels Like Home” was installed by the Ithaca Department of Public Works and wrapped in a big blue plastic tarp for the unveiling. It only took them a few hours to hang all 6 panels in their stainless steel frame. JJ and I were on hand during the whole process, and watched with delight as more than a year’s planning and work came together on the wall of the Seneca and Tioga streets parking garage in Ithaca, NY. We had a lovely unveiling ceremony and the work is now on view 24 hours a day, rain or shine. Enjoy!


Plant Mosaics

Please join the Van Etten Elementary School community to celebrate the completion and installation of these two mosaic benches depicting the life cycle of plants. They were made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts, administered locally by the ARTS of the Southern Finger Lakes. We will hold a dedication ceremony Monday October 17th from 5:50 to 6pm at the playground to recognize the creative success of student and community artists, and Van Etten teachers and staff.


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.