Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mosaic Plan in Color

I have been working with a team of Crealdé volunteer artists, fifth grade students at Killarney Elementary, and after-school kids at the Community Center, and kindergarteners at Dommerich Elementary, to make a broken-tile mosaic celebrating the history and heritage of Winter Park's historically African-American community in Hannibal Square, with support from The Golden Rule Foundation.

Designed by students after learning about the community’s history, the mosaic shows the story of the 1887 election, when the citizens of Hannibal Square joined together to parade across the tracks to vote. This historic event resulted in the election of two black Aldermen to the town council of Winter Park.

Above is the design in color. On the right are a group of citizens joining together to parade across the tracks to vote in the historic 1887 election when two black Aldermen were elected to the government of Winter Park. The three largest figures are intended to be Fank Israel and Walter Simpson, the elected Aldermen, and Gus Henderson, the publisher of the black newspaper, the Advocate, who rallied the voters together. The are crossing the tracks over to Park Avenue, to Ergood's Drug Store, where elections were held.

in the lower left corner are children playing marbles, and a girl with a makeshift doll made from a coke bottle, based on the colorful oral history that local historian and Hannibal Square resident Fairolyn Livingston told the project core group of students during our kick-off fieldtrip.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

In my garage

More pictures by Jenny, of a great work session in my garage yesterday - at one point we had nine people working! It is coming along -- but still so much to do!

Pictures from the Community Center

Many thanks to Jenny Starr, who is documenting the project, for these great pictures of the kids in the after school program at the Winter Park Community Center where the project will be installed. The unveiling ceremony will be February 17th.

This series of pictures starts with the first week where I showed the kids about the design and asked for their input. We came up with words that we would use on the mosaic.

The next week, we made clay house tiles. We looked at pictures of the kind of simple frame houses that people would have lived in, and talked about why the Florida environment helped shape how the houses were designed. We have about 150 houses that children have made. We will use them on the borders of the project, and also possibly on large pots for plants.

After that, the kids made tiles for the figures of the people who live and work in the buildings -- A teacher, a preacher, a barber... They looked at old photos so they could get the costumes right.

Then we cut out the letters for the words that tell the story -- they will go on the path.

Next we broke up tiles -- a lot of fun!

Then we laid out tiles one beautiful day, working outside on the grass.

Last time we started gluing on the tiles.

I'll see the kids again once the project is installed, and we fill in missing tiles.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How's it coming along?

We spread it out to see how it is coming. There is a LOT left to do! But it is going to be BIG and BEAUTIFUL. Now is the time to get more communiiy help -- the background should be much looser... I think we need to loosen up, add more space between the tiles, and work a little faster!

Breaking tiles at the Winter Park Community Center

I wanted to put these kids here, up top, because they are the ones who use the Community Center and live in Hannibal Square. We have had some fun Wednesday afternoons with Linda Walker's help, breaking tiles, drawing, and laying out and glueing down the tiles. I look forward to visiting the seniors who have a art class there next Friday.

more helpers

Wonderful Willy who never tires, and my friends Claire and Barry helped out this past weekend.

Two faces

Here are the faces of the two aldermen. We are waiting to have the hand-made face tiles fired. We are trying to glaze two different brown skin tones. Look at their jaunty hats!


Here is a panel that is now almost complete -- a school house. the word will say "learning."


While Daryl and I glazed tiles at Crealde, Virgina and Willy set to work and organized the project in my garage -- these color-coded boxes are great! It was wonderful to come back and find a tidy workshop instead of my usual chaos! Thanks you two!!

Laying out the words

The Killarney class and teacher Ginny Howard made these great letter tiles to spell out the themes in the mosaic. They ended up bigger than I imagined, but it will make a good graphic impact that way, I hope. Here we layed out the tiles outside my gargae to give us a sense of hwere they ought to go.

Putting 'em to work on Thanksgiving

Here is my family (here you can see my brother and my 90-year-old Grandfather) hard at work on the mosaic. My mother-in-law, my sister- and brother-in-law, my kids, my husband and my parents also pitched in...

Ergoods Store

This is the top left corner of the mosaic. It is Ergoods Store in Winter Park where the voting was held.. The boy (his name is Drew, I think) who did the drawing based it on a historic photograph in the Winter Park Library's collection that I brought in to class.

Killarney Artists at work...

Here are some of the kids laying out and sticking on the first panel of tiles. Marie and I showed them how to butter the backs with thinset and stick the tiles onto the Wedi board. Soon after this, we changed to fist laying out then lifting and gluing on the tiles in place -- the trick is to remember how each tile fits when you put it back down!

Marie and David

I think these two are getting goofy from breaking tiles! Who is that under the box?