Many Pieces Assembled for Magical Mural

By: Jayna Hintz, curator of education on December 15th, 2010

“Picking up the pieces” is a fitting slogan for last week’s Woodson Art Museum artist in residence Amy Weh. Amy is a mosaic artist who spent the week working with more than 300 students. The students ranged in age and grades from four year-old kindergarteners through high school seniors. Amy was wonderfully organized and had beautifully planned the creation of the Candy Land mosaic mural.

Amy started working with students on Tuesday and all the pieces were glued in the 3’ x 20’ mural by Thursday. On Friday, students grouted and polished. The grouting was really fun and messy. One student said it was “the best museum visit ever.” Many didn’t want to stop working when their forty-five minute session with Amy came to an end.

On Tuesday evening, children ages 5-12 had two back-to-back workshops with Amy. All forty children worked on the mural and each created an individual mosaic medallion. As always, I was amazed at their individuality and creativity. One very young man, Casey, created an owl using two metal washers, two glass nuggets, an orange heart tile, and two other glass tiles for talons. I must mention this because it was amazing and because Casey and I must share the Woodson Art Museum’s affinity for birds. (Think Birds in Art!)
An adult workshop took place on what turned out to be a snowy Saturday. Eleven of the twenty-one participants who registered braved the storm. They began their workshop by sealing the mural created by the students and then spent a few hours working on their own 6”x 6” mosaics. Creativity is thriving at all ages. A few were surprised at how long the process took and how hard it was to cut tiles to fit in the curves and angles of a design. For a first attempt, I would recommend starting with a design that has only a few curves or angles and is predominantly straight lines and sharp corners.
Speaking of straight lines and sharp corners, the drive home during Saturday’s snowstorm was all curves and angles. One slick curve landed my car in the ditch. Thankfully, I’m okay and my car is in one piece. I hope everyone made it home safely. I enjoyed the mosaic workshop. What a fun group of adults to spend a snowy morning with creating art.

Note: Special thanks to Charter Communications and the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin’s Community Arts Grant program, with funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the B.A. Esther Greenheck Foundation, for support of Amy Weh’s residency.

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