winter sunset

Journalism is publishing what someone else does not want published. All the rest is public relations. - George Orwell

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

They get by with a little help from their friends
The Mosaic Project is all it's cracked up to be

Have you heard about the "Layers of Love Mural" project? It's a Coconut Grove Children's Mosaic Community Project.The large mural will cover part of the Post Office wall on McDonald Street at Grand Avenue. Above, project collaborators are artists Cyndy Hill and Eileen Seitz, who are working with fellow artist Sheri Friedman on the wall. They are holding a drawing of what the finished project should look like.

The idea of the mural came up a few years ago when graffiti all over the post office walls became an issue. People wanted to find a way to stop it from happening. To the left of this photo are plants climbing the wall, but this bare area was a clean surface just waiting to be tagged and this is where the children's project came in. Cyndy who was one of the first approached thought it would be special if local schools and children's organizations had a hand in the project.

"It's giving back to the kids; knowing down the line that they took part in something," says Cyndy. "It's something they'll always see and be proud of," added Eileen.

The marine-themed mural is set to be installed in late summer or early fall.

Right now, "kits" are being prepared. Each item like fish, clouds, grass, etc. will be given to a child to put together. The items come in a boxed kit put together by volunteers and will be attached to the large image, sort of like a puzzle. Cyndy was totally meticulous before any tile was even touched. There are files and files of plans and dummies, all drawn out over a period of months. For the kits, tiles were cut up and put into bags, separated by colors in their color-coded system.

The tiles were donated by Daltile and USCT Tile. After another tile company backed out, Juan Carlos Ruiz from the Tileart Project, managed to get the donations from these tile companies.

Coastal Construction Company came up with a metal panel system, where the mural will be put together in pieces, at the hanger at Shake-A-Leg, which donated the space. Each 30" x 30" panel will fit into the grid, there are 56 grid panels. So the pre-fabricated work will take place off site and then be installed in pieces, completing the whole project and making it one large marine-themed mural.

The large project brings the community together by having so many different hands in it, it also ties the Village West with the Center Grove in that it is right on the dividing line. The colorful mural, along with the colorfully painted information booth on the corner, will bring that intersection alive. That corner will be noticed and become a grand entrance to the Grove.

All the major elements come directly from the drawings of children, like this blow fish. Children from Coconut Grove Cares and the Barnyard Community Center were involved, also Shake-A-Leg, Blu Moon Studio of Art, Coconut Grove Elementary, Coral Gables High, the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Coconut Grove Sailing Club.

You can follow the project's progress on their Facebook page here.

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