Friday, July 20, 2018

“ Where I’m From” at Montgomery High School

This mosaic mural is the biggest mosaic I have ever worked on. It is 8 by 30 feet long and is located on the outside wall of Montgomery High School in Skillman NJ. The title “Where I’m From” is based on a poem by writer George Ella Lyons. I became familiar with the poem as part of a class I took for teaching artists at Columbia University this past school year. There is a whole website devoted to this poem with the hope that many people will write their own versions in order to find common ground and connections to one another. Please see for more information and photos of this mosaic.

The students at Montgomery created bas relief tile using imagery from their own poems that they wrote with the help of guest poet Jacob Winterstein. I worked with ceramics teacher Tina Dailey who had the vision to create a mosaic that would cover up a racial slur that was etched into the wall of the school some years ago. Tina wanted me to help the students design and create a mosaic mural that brought the community together. At the time I was studying the quilts of Gees Bend with my students at Quinton Elementary. Quilting is a collaborative art form that builds community among the participating quilters. Creating a mosaic quilt in  which each student contributed a clay tile, became the framework for the project. Students designed, created the tile, glazed, grouted and installed this beautiful mosaic. At the dedication, several students spoke about the experience of working on this project. I was truly amazed and touched at how they were able to dig deep within themselves to create an authentic, moving and beautiful work of art.

Detail of inset window


Students installing the mosaic

 Students working on relief tile. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Community Mosaic at Broad St. School Bridgeton NJ

Below are photos of the installation at Broad St School in Bridgeton NJ. The mosaics on either side of the steps to the entrance of the school building represent the community: the plants, animals, buildings and streets, as well as the culture of Bridgeton. The yellow mosaic is a street view with buildings, plants and animals. The blue mosaic reprsents the Latino culture: holidays, foods, games and imagery associated with the people who live in the community. Second and third grade students learned about mapping as well as how to work with clay and create a mosaic. The strips of tile extending out of the mosaic panals were created by community members: faculty and parents. The wall was long so I decided to design the installation so that it can be added too in future years. Many thanks to art teacher Dr Anne Marie Pai, who had to transport all the tile to another building for firing and incredible documentation of the entire process by Ms. Olive Doss.

Community Map

Culutral Map

With Ms Doss and my expert helpers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Buddy Bench at Kirby's Mill Elementary

This is a mosaic base for a Buddy Bench which is located in the playground at Kirby's Mill Elementary School in Medford NJ. I worked with school faculty, both present and past, to create the border tiles which are dedicated to former school nurse Kathy Frame. Kathy passed away a few years ago from cancer and the staff wanted to create a memorial mosaic for her. She was much beloved by all and is very much still missed. Thank you to art teacher Jessica Evans who worked with students to make the mosaic tile fill. The tiles represent all the things Kathy loved, especially the children. Kathys husband attended the dedication and was the first person to sit on the new bench.💙

Friday, June 22, 2018

Indian Ave School Bridgeton NJ "Living Out Our Dreams"

I had the pleasure to work with teaching artist Kathy Casper on an afterschool residency at the Indian Ave School in Bridgeton NJ. This program was funded by Appel Farm and the Pathways program. The students created mosaic baskets that contained the aspirations of the school. The basket motif was chosen because Indian Ave is located within the tribal nation of the Nanticote Leni Lenape. A Lenape princess attended our dedication! The principal wanted an eagle to span both sides of the hallway. Above the eagle are the words "Living Out our Dreams". This is the first time creating on a corner wall. I think it turned out really great despite the challenges of working in an after school setting.

Students viewing their mosaic at the unveiling. A real lenape princess in attendance!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Wellness Mural at Eisenberg School

Its been 4 months in which I have had very little time to do anything but work on mosaic murals!
Here is the completed mosaic at Harry O Eisenberg School in New Castle Delaware. Many thanks to Kristen Rosenthal, art teacher at Eisenberg, who reached out to me to work on this wonderful project. This mural is situated just outside the new Wellness Center located within the school. I wanted to create a welcoming image that helps to relax children as they enter to get the medical attention that they need. Below is the completed mural along with photos of my excellent 4th Grade helpers!

gluing tiles

mixing grout

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A.I.E residency at Broad St. School Bridgeton NJ

This year I am so happy to be able to work with 2 schools who received the NJ Artists in Education Grant. Broad St School in Bridgeton NJ will be creating a mosaic that will be displayed on the front of the school building! All who enter for many years to come will see the work of a group of 2nd and 3rd graders. The theme of the mosaic is "Community". We will be creating two mosaic community maps. One actual map of the area, and one of the cultural assets.  Here are a few pictures of the residency so far, including a photo of the front of the school building. The mosaic will be installed to either side of the front steps on the cinderblock wall.

Mural will be located behind the planters which will be moved.

Working on community elements

Paper collage of the mosaic map. The Cohansey River divides the city.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wellness Center mosaic at Harry O Eisenberg School.

This winter I am fortunate to have mosaic projects in 4 different schools! The students at Eisenberg School in New Castle Delaware are creating a mosaic for the entrance to the new Wellness Center. The Wellness Center will be located right within the school and will be open to the community. Here are a few photos of our work together so far.

What are some healthy activities?

Stay active!

How can we create a welcoming sign?

Get regular checkups.

Students working in groups

Brainstorming ideas

Adding finishing touches

Happy New Year 2018

I spent my Christmas break learning a new origami model. It is a snowflake designed by Dennis Walker. It’s starts with a hexagon. Once I figured out how to make it I did not want to stop!