Last November I met Gina Colombatto, a California mosaicist, who had recently moved to Waterville. Inspired by the iconic artist Isaiah Zagar, creator of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, Gina was looking for someone in this area who also was interested in creating outdoor mosaics. Janet Parkhurst at Stained Glass Express, told her about me.
In January Gina envisioned swirls of color on the North ramp wall outside the Waterville Public Library and she mentioned her idea to Sarah Sugden their dynamic librarian. Sarah was immediately enthusiastic, saying she had been imagining something similar!
When Waterville Main Street issued a call for art proposals to enliven the look of the downtown area, Gina and I applied for and received a small grant.
Soon we were gathering hundreds of leftover and discontinued sample tiles and discarded mirror scraps from many local stores and distributors.
During the summer, with middle schoolers at the library, we started the task of separating tiles from display boards, sorting, and smashing. We also cut strips of mirror and drew our sketch onto the wall.
Then we waited for the wall to receive necessary maintenance.
We received additional funding and the go ahead only a few weeks ago, and our push began to beat the cold weather!
Several local artists helped us exhaustively, as well as many of the library’s visitors, staff, and neighbors, all whom, when they’d stop by offering assistance, we’d enlist in the carrying of heavy buckets, dish and tile smashing, or put them to work applying tesserae to the wall, and mixing, or applying grout.
Some helped with the clean-up too! Many folks put in late nights with us. Some people ran errands; some showed up with food; others gave advice and shared tools!
The community response and support continues to be overwhelming and cars keep driving by with drivers honking, and giving us the thumbs up!
Well the wall is now finished and ready for its Public!
The library is planning a reception for the community and to thank those who helped.
It is this coming Sunday- November 11, 2012 from 1-2pm. You can read more here
Join us in this celebration of community coming together and making great things happen.