Saturday, August 1, 2009

Collaborative Mosaic Murals

I've been asked many a time now how this mural donation project got in an effort to make life easier...even I can't believe it.
I've started a blog.

Here we go...

It began innocently enough in August of 2008 in a Mosaic Challenge Group. One of my mosaic boxes “…of Atlantis” had won the latest challenge, so it was my choice to select the next subject. I chose a 6”x6” swirl.

...of Atlantis

Sounded simple enough.

After some fast and furious brainstorming on the part of a few of the artists in the group, the little swirls had morphed themselves into a full blown mosaic quilt project. Being the instigator of the swirls I jumped at the chance to be the one to pull it all together... I do love a big project!

We ended the challenge on October 31st with 61 swirl entries! Though because not all were made on mesh I was sent the 56 that were. This created another challenge: To design the mural with the mosaics touching each other or break the project into 2 panels of 28? The swirls were almost perfectly divided into cool & warm colors so I decided to break it up.

Swirlendipity I
Swirlendipity II

Before beginning to build the murals, these 2 panels now named Swirlendipity I & Swirlendipity II needed a home. In discussing this project with a friend, Ann Tronzo, she suggested that I look into the new medical complex and hospital that had just opened in September of ’08…she’s also a nurse there.

A bit daunting to approach such a large place never having donated art before.

I made 2 mural mock-ups and met with the manager, Elena Weissman, of the Assarian Cancer Center for the Healing Arts at the Providence Park Medical Campus Novi, Michigan. Quite an interesting and very unexpected visit. I had no idea that a medical facility would house art classes, yoga, a pottery studio and a gallery!

St John Providence Park Hospital in Novi, Michigan

The swirl mural concept was welcomed with great enthusiasm. In a meeting that followed after the holidays, we looked for wall locations within the main hospital, Providence Park, as it is new with A LOT of empty white walls. We chose the public entrances on the 2nd, & 3rd floors. The first floor is the main lobby, and already complete.

Also in this meeting, Elena asked if it would be possible to continue the mosaic theme on the remaining 2 floors. What could I say but of course?

Swirlendipity I will be located on the Orthopedics & Surgery level, Swirlendipity II on the Women’s Services/Labor & Delivery & Neonatal level. The Jigsaw Puzzle, Amuzapalooza, on the Neurological Sciences & Oncology level , and the 4th and final mural, still in its design phase, will be located on the Cardiology & Surgery level …I’m thinking ‘hearts'

Each of these mosaics will be 3’x5’ with a Hardibacker substrate mounted on finished plywood. With the frame it will bring the artworks size to 4’x6’.

Bringing all of the mosaic artists together was never a difficult task. A very generous lot these artists. There was quite a list of mosaicists who had contacted me to see if it was still possible for them to donate a swirl. They were the first “go-to” when the puzzle mural was being established, along with the current swirl artists who were given another opportunity to participate. There are also artists from Providence Park Hospital involved in making 9 of the 50 puzzle pieces for Amuzapalooza.

As I write this, nearing the end of August 2009... a full year from the swirl ideas inception,I'm happy to report that Swirlendipity I has been successfully installed at the hospital as of July 31st.


  1. You're awesome, Lin!! And I'm really happy you started a blog. It took me awhile, too :-)

  2. good luck for your project...
    bonne chance pour votre projet Linn...

  3. Great read, Lin. Glad you have a blog now so we don't have to keep pestering you for the details on Facebook and Flickr. ;-) Keep it up!

  4. Yay Lin! What a welcome addition to the wide world of blogging. Now I know where to send people to learn more about the details of these mosaic projects -- and they can learn more about you and your wonderful work, too!

  5. This is such a great project and I've enjoyed reading about it and seeing the beautiful murals and Lin your own works are beautiful and amazing.