Worcester's Community Mosaic
The Mosaic, created in 2000 with the help of more than 1,000 people and 14 community schools and agencies, was moved during the summer of 2005 from its Lancaster Street location to the Worcester Art Museum’s Stoddard Garden Court. In its new location, the Mosaic will provide inspiration to year-round Museum students, ambience to summer Café diners, and a backdrop for myriad community events.
The Community Mosaic has become a touchstone for the community—there are many stories about how making the mosaic had an unbelievable impact on people's lives, said Honee A. Hess, the Museum’s director of education.
Inspired by the Worcester Art Museum’s renowned collection of floor mosaics unearthed from the ancient city of Antioch, the 45-by-8-foot Worcester Community Mosaic reflects the themes of Worcester and community. Its design celebrates the city’s diversity, learning institutions, inventors, neighborhoods and culture, including representations of all four seasons, a triple decker, a rocket, books, and, of course, the heart of Massachusetts.
To create the mural, the Worcester Art Museum commissioned California artist Kim Emerson to work in residence with two apprentices and enlisted the help of more than 1,000 community members ranging in age from 5 to 80. Children and adults at 14 community schools and organizations—including May Street, Elm Park and Clark Street schools; Quinsigamond Community College Women’s Center; YouthNet; Fallon Healthcare; AIDS Project Worcester; The Antioch Association of Worcester; Office of Elder Affairs; Black FBI; Centro Las Americas; Italian American Society; Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Worcester; and Arts Worcester—worked with Emerson on the 3-by-5-foot, 300-pound Mosaic panels.
In addition, a dozen community groups including CASA, Rainbow Childcare, and Friendly House among hundreds of other friends of the Museum helped paint 3" square border tiles. Approximately 700 individually painted tiles were needed to complete the classically-styled Greek key border that runs around the perimeter of the mural.
Did You Know…
· that volunteers from age 5 to 80 plus helped to put together the pieces of Worcester's Community Mosaic.
· that two tile saws were used 10 hours a day for 2-3 weeks to precision cut more than 40 different colors of porcelain tile.
The Worcester Community Mosaic was sponsored by Fallon Foundation and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Worcester Cultural Commission, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.