Monday, March 31, 2008
Next step is to gather the mosaic projects as the artists finish them, get all my supplies together for the kids mosaic class and maybe clean my house.
I picked up the drawings from the two schools. I had expected maybe 20 or 30, after all we just needed 16 good ones. I ended up receiving 102!!!
I brought them to our March mosaic meeting. It was crazy, everyone trying to narrow their choice down to just one drawing. Some of the artists did abstract art and were not looking for really detailed drawings. This fit really well with the more simple drawings. Some people like a lot of detail in their art and they picked the more detailed drawings. We had a few new people to our meeting and they wanted to make one too so we ended up with 18 pieces total. I had originally planned on one frame for 6 or 8 pieces. I changed it to 2 frames when I thought there were going to be 12 pieces, then 16 pieces. Now with 18 pieces, I am looking at 3 frames.
I had contacted a few places for information on wedi board, which I thought would make a good surface to do individual mosaics on. Kathy at marylandmosaics.com was absolutely wonderful at answering all my questions and supplying us with the boards, all cut to size too. She also recommended some wonderful glass flowers that I used in my individual piece.
I had asked my brother Andrew, to make the original frame. He is an engineer but makes fantastic wood furniture. When I told him it was going to be 3 frames instead of 1 he didn't even question it!! Also, when I had told my mom about Andy making the frame, she said that was pretty neat seeing as he and his twin brother, Matt, had spent the first few months of their lives at that very same hospital. They were preemies and were taken from my mom and tranported to Childrens hospital. She said that she is a true believer that the care they received is the main reason they are still alive today!!
I had originally thought that there would only be 6 or 8 kids and I had planned to have the child artists' mosaic class in my basement. Now with 18 kids there is no way I would have the room so I asked around for suggestions as to places to call. The library by me wanted $25 an hour. The local park wanted $35 an hour plus $15 filing fee. I contacted the Orion Township library and she said that because it was nonprofit and also for the kids that it was free!! Free is for me!! I was able to reserve 2 days with a 2 hour time slot each. Then I had to call all the kids and let them know what days were available. So far it is working out ok. I have 1/2 scheduled for each day as long as no one needs to switch. I typed out a letter to each child with their name and time/date slot and personally addressed the letter to the child themself.
I kept thinking back to my daughters drawings and thought that maybe I could invite other kids to submit drawings too and we would pick one of those to turn into a larger piece. Then I figured that it might be too hard to pick just one so thats when it turned into each artist making their own piece and having them individual yet all in one frame.
I kept going back to the train theme at the hospital and thought that each individual piece could represent a view looking out a window. I contacted the art teacheres two local elementary schools and asked if they would like to be involved. They were very enthusiastic about the project. I ran a contest at the two schools and gave the kids until the end of February to submit an 8" x 10" drawing to their teachers. The theme was "Looking thru a train window" with a little poem:
Riding on the train,
Happy as can be,
Looking out the window,
What do I see?
The winners will have the chance to see their drawing turned into a mosaic and I am also going to be offering a class for each of the winners to make their own small mosaic piece that they can keep.
I began contacting several hospitals by email but only heard back from one, Children's Hospital in Detroit. I really wanted to see what kind of space was available so that I could formulate what size the finished artwork would be so I asked for a tour and was invited by Grace Serra, the Art Advisor. I still wasn't sure just what we were going to do so I dragged a fellow mosaic artist, Theresa Ruby, with me to bounce ideas off of. I knew that I wanted the piece to incorporate a childs point of view since it would be seen by many sick children.
Grace took us on a tour of the hospital and showed us all the artwork that was there already. She also gave us some ideas of what type of group project we might be able to do. When she took us into the pre-op/post-op area, it looked like it needed some cheering up. We started talking about something that might work in there. She mentioned that they were going to be getting a new counter and my mind went to the possibility of us mosaicing the front face of the counter. Grace liked that idea too so I went home to draw up some ideas.
At the November mosaic meeting I brought up my ideas to see what everyone thought and to see what kind of interest there was. There seemed to be quite a bit so I suggested we each do a small piece and incorporate them all together, sort of like a quilt.
The current project I am working on involves a hospital, 2 elementary schools and 18 mosaic artists!! Since the project is already in progress, I am going to write the blog chronologically as I remember events happened.
This project started as a simple way to get my daughter, Claudia, interested in what I love to do, making mosaics. She loves to draw so I thought what better way of combining her talents with mine. I had my daughter draw a few pictures and I tried to pick one that I thought would be fun to convert to a mosaic piece.
I belong to a Michigan mosaic group and we had talked about doing some sort of group exhibit. The more I thought of it the more it made me think that others in my group might want to work on a fun project too. I figured maybe 5 or 6 artists and I could work on a piece that would then be donated to a children's hospital.