MOSAICS FOR THE COMMUNITY:
collaborative projects with the Markham Group of Artists
A few years ago, I took on the role of Project Director for the Markham Group of Artists, designing and producing mosaics for the community. So far the group has produced four wonderful pieces (see below). Our latest mosaic "Canada 150" was permanently installed in the Richmond Hill Welcome Centre Immigration Services building in November 2016.
23 members of the MGA collaborated on this mosaic to commemorate Canada's upcoming 150th year of confederation. It celebrates the historical impact of immigrants to this country while acknowledging the indigenous people and their deep roots. It also welcomes newcomers to our collective ‘Canadianity’ and contains imagery teaching them about this amazing land.
It was challenging for artists of various skill levels, styles and perspectives to make their pieces fit into the larger picture but they made it work, beautifully demonstrating how individuals of various backgrounds can bring their ideas and perspectives together to create something wonderful and inspiring.
The process for the mosaic is fascinating: first, a full-size cartoon is created based on the theme selected for the venue. From this image, the sections are cropped and the requisite segments handed out to participating artists.The challenge for each artist is to interpret the shapes, colours and values of the template provided for their section and see within it other “hidden” images, ensuring that the section works as a stand-alone piece that also fits into the bigger picture. These hidden elements created by the artist are treasures for the viewer to discover on close inspection of the artwork.
The Markham Group of Artists believe that public art is essential to culture. If you're interested in joining, or for more information on the group please go to www.markhamartists.org.