Mosaic Mural

February 2011
Maine West - Mosaic Mural Project - Erin Osmus
Foundation Award: $1000

Initial Design in Paper to installation

The project funded by this grant will provide Maine West High School with a large-scale, artistic mural to be designed and completed by the intermediate level Design and Materials students (level 2) while under the tutelage of the Chicago School of Mosaics.  The proposed mosaic would be completed using glass and installed for permanent display in the high school’s main entrance foyer.  

This project will be completed by both sections of Design and Materials 2 students, approximately forty students in all.  Since the installation will be made on pre-cut boards (to be later mounted/installed) students will not have to work in the school’s main entrance for this project.  The lion share of the artwork can be completed in the art room during regularly scheduled class.  Given the amount of students participating in the project, the estimated time for completion is about equal to the time it would take each student to complete their own, personal mosaic project.   Glass mosaics are a consistent unit in the Design and Materials 2 curriculum.  It allows students to practice cutting and shaping glass and also to create a larger image from smaller pieces.  This project prepares ongoing art students for the more challenging stained glass unit in Design and Materials 3.  This large-scale installation will still fulfill all of the goals and objectives expected in the individual mosaic projects but it will also add the experience of students working together as an artistic collective.  The installation of the project will both beautify the entrance to Maine West and instill a sense of pride in its students, especially those who were able to participate in its creation.  In this effort to bolster student pride and school community, the Design and Materials students will collect ideas from their peers and teachers about what types of designs would best represent them as a whole.  Through the Student Council and Principal Leadership teams, we estimate that our students can create a piece of lasting artwork that will speak to past, present, and future students alike.

The idea for this mosaic mural came from the Chicago School of Mosaics.  This is a non-for-profit institution that attracts some of the best mosaics artists in the world.  Our participating artist, Rochelle Borrett, holds and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Trinity College, a Masters in Art Education and a Masters Certificate in Micromosaic from Venice Italy.  Recently, she was able to supervise the creation of a mural in a Chicago middle school illustrating the heritage and culture of the Puerto Rican community the middle school resided in.  Ms. Borrett’s participation in the project will allow these students a much more honed understanding on mosaic art.  Three to five visits will be scheduled with Ms. Borrett allowing her to demonstrate techniques, field questions, and work side-by-side with the students to create the mosaic.  When Ms. Borrett is not visiting, this project will be supervised by the Design and Materials instructors.