Astoundingly high quality mosaic mural by elementary school students! Mosaic mural was designed, facilitated, and installed by me ( Sophia Othman of Moonfish Artworks) with some volunteer help from community members. It was pieced by grade schoolers and their families, teachers, and the Principal too!! here is a link to the TV spot about it and the newspaper article too:
The designs i printed out for the project were laid out on my workshop floor to figure out how the whole design would work and be able to hold so many individual mosaics (we ended up with 75 animal mosaics). i picked a marine animals theme for the mural to resonate with the existing painted mural art at the school. i chose creatures that are native to this area, in the San Francisco Bay and the Napa River, both swimmers and flying animals. The mermaid seahorses, and flying fish were necessary to add Magic, of course.
The design paper prints were used as a guide for piecing the mosaics when i (and four volunteer helpers of my own) facilitated the mosaic making event for the 60+ families that participated in piecing the mosaics. We had at least 140 people there in one large auditorium because each student had to be there with at least one adult family member. We had many families show up with 3 or 4 family members collaborating on piecing their small animal design that would eventually fit into the overall design for the mural.
For the 2014 Vallejo Open Studios I hosted an actual open studio and invited the public to help piece the words for the mosaic mural border. We produced 72 square feet of border mosaic for the Grace Patterson elementary school mosaic mural. Whew! What a day!
In April of 2013 I worked with staff and students of Vallejo’s Hogan Middle School during two weeks of Spring Break to put co-create this beautiful and inspiring mosaic mural.
Title: Hogan School Community Mosaic Mural
Dimensions: 6 foot x 17 foot
Media: Public mosaic mural using glass, ceramic tile, mirror, stone. A group mosaic created by dozens of participants, youth and adults, working in short sessions over a period of a month.
Content: The mosaic spells out the school’s motto, Knowledge Is Power, which was chosen as the theme for the mural by the school staff involved in the project. A large portion of the tesserae (mosaic pieces) used for this piece came from donations from the community. The design element of shooting stars is to invite students to shine.
A master of invention and re-invention of the practical and personal kinds, my friend, Dan Schultz, has created an intentional community, Maitreya Mountain Village, up in Del Norte County, the northwest corner of California, deep in the woods on 180 acres of wooded land.
Daily life off the grid and on the land demands constant practical and elegant re-thinking and re-inventing of the stuff of everyday living, where your water comes from (a creek), where your electricity comes from (hydroelectric, solar, a generator), how to heat your sauna (wood from your own land), and how you will cook your food…. This picture is Cole, the community’s newest philosopher/volunteer/co-creator, frying up some eggs on their latest creative re-use project. Satellite dishes are plentifully free on craigslist and the mirror was scrap stuff donated from a glass company. They can get it past 500 degrees and even on overcast days it gets hot enough to cook.
Toxic byproducts = zero
Save stuff from ending up in landfills – thumbs up!
Doesn’t matter who you are — cooking with sun rays is cool.
Eco-Score the Planet: 1, people:1
Dan and they community members hold community events and workshops on the topics of permaculture, living of the grid, self-sufficiency, organic gardening, interpersonal relating, and sustainable home building skills. They also offer retreats on their remote and beautiful wooded land in structures built on site using sustainable techniques and materials sourced locally. Check it out, good for the soul.