This 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.
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.
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!
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!
New offerings from my latest kiln-load…
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.
“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!
Great news! The City of Ithaca is going to foot the bill for a stainless steel frame for the mosaic, and provide skilled workers to install it. I am SO grateful. I finished sculpting the last tiles out of raw clay and am firing them this weekend. Tim Merick has the panels completed and ready to deliver. Earthday weekend is a big volunteer weekend with an event hosted by Ithaca’s mayor at the Youth Bureau. I am getting the work ready so that I can get the community’s help grouting the whole thing!
Glazed ceramic tile, fresh out of the kiln at Zwackart studios. Latest installment of work on public art mosaic mural to be installed in Ithaca, NY in Spring of 2012.
This year I won a Crossroads grant to create a tile mosaic and work with Robert Salvato, a skilled wood working artist to create a bench for a public park in Erin, NY. Below are some images from my process of making it. It is now complete and about to be installed. The Town of Erin has scheduled an unveiling to take place October 29th at 1pm in the new park, behind the fire station. Please come and enjoy the festivities if you are in the area. I am told there will be free hot-dogs.
This bench was made possible in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Program, administered locally by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.