Mosaics help beautify York

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 17, 2004

All this week, area youth are creating beautiful images using pieces of glass and grout, under the tutelage of mosaic artist, Linda Mu&110;oz. StreetScapes is a municipalWORKSHOP project for ages 10 and older to learn the craft of creating mosaics. StreetScapes serves to both beautify the city and as an educational tool for citizens and area school children. Up to four mosaics will be created during the week, based on designs inspired by microscopic images of trees of Sumter County. Participants will learn about the cellular structure of trees as well as how to create abstractions in artwork. Each finished mosaic will become a permanent piece of art for the City of York. When the mosaics are complete, the Coleman Center will coordinate with the City of York to replace damaged sections of the city sidewalks. The corresponding tree will be planted next to each mosaic with an identification marker.

Four municipalWORKSHOP projects are happening this summer at the Coleman Center for Arts and Culture. The StreetScapes workshop is currently underway. Through the volunteerism of instructor Linda Munoz and with financial support from Cotton Patch Studios, Mr. Charles Munoz, Mary Allen Jolley, Dr. Sudeep Rao, Joan Oswalt, Cobb’s Pub, and other individuals and organizations as well as the Alabama State Council for the Arts, the City of York, Sumter County Commission and the Sumter County Fine Arts Council, this program is provided free to area children.

The municipalWORKSHOP began when founder and artist Richard Saxton created human-powered vehicles for York’s Public Works Department through collaboration with the Coleman Center and Auburn University’s Rural Studio in January of 2003. These mobile art pieces have since traveled to organizations in Utah, Minneapolis, and all around the Midwest, generating publicity and a national art presence for York. The excitement and community involvement derived from the project inspired Mr. Saxton to permanently create the municipalWORKSHOP as a public art collaboration, bringing additional artists to the Black Belt, to provide the area with inspiration and creativity through a civic context

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All of the artwork created in the workshop will be on display in the Altman

Riddick Museum now through June 26th with a reception on June 26 from 3 – 5 PM to celebrate the new mosaics and show the process of their creation. The exhibition will include drawings from the participants in the classes, directions on the process of making mosaics, maps of the location of the mosaics, and examples of finished mosaics created by regional artists.