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Friday, September 30, 2011

Children's Mosaic Mural unveiling is Friday

The unveiling ceremony for the Coconut Grove Children’s Mosaic Mural will be held next Friday, October 7 at 3:00 p.m. at the U.S. Post Office at 3191 Grand Avenue. Everyone is invited.

Over 80 area children were involved in the two year project, whose drawings and paintings inspired the marine-themed mosaic mural, and the dedicated team of local artists lead by Cyndy Hill (right) and Eileen Seitz (left), who along with more than 100 local volunteers, spent hundreds of hours constructing the mural panels.

When the federal bureaucracy threatened to derail the project, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen stepped in and the group was able to obtain permission from the U.S. Postal Service to erect the mural on the outside wall of the U.S. Post Office Coconut Grove Branch.

“The Children’s Mosaic Mural is truly about community, with people from throughout Coconut Grove contributing to the effort and pulling together as ‘One Grove’,” said Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, whose staff worked diligently to find the necessary resources for the artists, from donated tile, stone and mortar to engineering expertise to the enormous work and storage spaces needed to complete the project.The idea to place a mural at the Coconut Grove Post Office came about initially as a way to combat graffiti. Grovite Harry Emilio Gottlieb, started the charge against graffiti by getting involved, mostly by bringing the deplorable condition of the post office to light.

The earliest fruit of this collaborative effort appears in the watercolor painting “Layers of Love,” by Eileen Seitz, who drew from Cyndy Hill’s design concept and which serves as the basis for the mural. The mural design takes its major elements directly from original children’s paintings and drawings gathered from Coconut Grove Cares/ Barnyard Community Center, Shake-A-Leg Miami, Blu Moon Studio of Art, and other contributors.

In addition to those organizations, youths from Coconut Grove Elementary School, Coral Gables High School, Ponce de Leon Middle School and the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, as well as additional local artists and community members, helped to the assemble the 56 panels that comprise the mural.

“It shows what a dedicated group of people can do,” artist Hill said. “It took local people, local government and local businesses to accomplish this mural project.”

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