Tile Mentor program outreach
"A Place to Grow"
Paul and Shelia Wellstone Community Center
Mentor Artist: Sharra Frank
Apprentice Artists: Claire Oslund, Edith Cho, Carolyn Soley, Anna Voskresensky, Elizabeth Amundsen, Luke Chen, P. Croix Farnham, Xing Li, and Yang Mee Moua
The 5'x8' mosaic mural, "A Place to Grow", represents a welcoming community garden. It was created for the Neighborhood House, located in the Paul and Shelia Wellstone Community Center in the Del Sol Neighborhood of West St. Paul. The Neighborhood House is a multicultural, multilingual community center with programming for all ages and open doors for all people and is often a first stop for new immigrants and refugees.The Community Garden Mosaic installation is vibrant and diverse, just like the Neighborhood House, through it's textures, bright colors and materials. The universal garden theme speaks to all ages, cultures and languages. The viewers will enjoy the experience of finding little creatures hidden throughout the flowers, fruits and veggies and also recognize familiar buildings from the community that the Neighborhood House is located within. Thus, the garden promotes growth, creativity, love and community spirit.
The installation came about through COMPAS's ArtsWork, a youth employment program for young artists who are hired during the summer months as Apprentice Artists and are mentored by professional artists. The aspiring artists are ages 14-21. They are hired after applying and completing the interview process which includes a portfolio and resume review. For this installation the mentor artist, Sharra Frank, interview approximately 40 artists and selected 10. During the 6 week program, the apprentices worked Monday through Friday from 9:30am-3:00pm. They gained vocational skill such as time
management and teamwork. Also, they sharpen social skills by
interacting with others and increasing their confidence.
The mosaic was constructed on 3 panels made from nine ply Baltic Birch, a high quality plywood from Russia. The panels were primed and sealed for the mosaic application. The mosaic materials used include stained glass, mirror, porcelain tile, gems, beads, paper under glass, gold leaf, and china. The design was roughly sketched onto the surfaces, leaving room for improvisation and spontaneity along the way. Then, the apprentices began laying the tesserae onto the design. Opus options, and a mento, groutlines and consistency were
all learned and practiced previous to starting the installation.
After the mosaic materials were completely adhered and dried, the mosaic was grouted. The surfaces of the tesserae were carefully cleaned and polished, leaving a finished grout line in the spaces between the tesserae.The final result is "A Place to Grow".
The mosaic will be hung on the 2nd floor in the Neighborhood House during the week of August 7, 2006. A dedication of the piece will be held Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 2:00pm. Visitors are welcome!