Inspired by Chris Barley of South Hill Elementary School, this sensational mosaic was a collaboration between 3rd – 5th grade students enrolled in both the Ithaca City School District’s Project Innovation and Farm to Table summer programs, which were combined this year and led by Chris Barley, Kim Lazarro, Tanya Kszystyniak, Molly Fournier, and Regina McNerney.
Kim Lazzaro tells us that the students spent the summer learning about community art, viewing images and videos of our local murals, sculptures, and gardens as public art, the students and facilitators discussed ways art can bring communities together. Each of the students, who participated in person and also virtually, were given acrylic paints, and four wooden tiles to creatively design however they saw fit with these guiding questions in mind:
- How can a community grow through difficult times?
- How does creating a beautiful, public space impact people’s lives?
- How do people use art to communicate?
- How do we determine an artist’s purpose or message?
- What message do we want to put out into our community through our own public art?
- How and where can we put our own public art on display?
Once all of the tiles were received, the students were asked to deliberate on the way they wanted to showcase their message, “Create Love” to the community, and decided a heart in the very center of the mosaic was the best way.
Ithaca Children’s Garden is pleased to host this stunning collaboration, and to help the students spread their uplifting message during what has proven to be a challenging year.