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.💙