I Can Fly

Submitted by Manila Clough

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Client: St Johns Cultural Council

Location: St Augustine Beach, FL, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $4,000

Project Team

Client

Allen Anderson

Principal, Palencia Elementary School

Client

Tommy Bledsoe

St Johns Cultural Council

Overview

This mosaic is called “I Can Fly.” The substrate is carpenter grade plywood, well-primed on both sides; size is 42″ x 48″. I used blue iridized Spectrum stained glass for the sky; Wismach white iridized stained glass for the White Heron. For the foliage and trees, I cut up ceramic and china plates. I made the text by stamping individual letters into clay which I fired, glazed, fired again.

Goals

Palencia Elementary School is a LEED facility. I met with Mr. Anderson to tour the school in order to get a feel for its architectural character which is very sleek, very spacious and uncluttered. We discussed the self-sustaining philosophy of the structure of school. The building, however, is located in a protected Florida wet

Process

Tommy Bledsoe was the President of the Board of Directors for the St Johns Cultural Council. Funding from the sale of special 'Arts' license plates for cars in Florida support the Individual Artist Grant which I was awarded. My project was to create fairly large (15 square feet) mosaics for elementary schools in St Johns County. Mr. Bledsoe notified the principals of those schools in an email blast. Ms. Joy Taylor, principal of Hartley Elementary, called first. Mr. Anderson was the second. I collaborated with each principal to create a mosaic specific to the spirit of each school.

Additional Information

Although the mosaic was intended for young children, I did not want to make a juvenile themed mosaic like a cartoon. Instead, I was inspired by the sleek beauty of Palencia Elementary School, the newest in the county at the time, to create a fine art original glass and ceramic collage with the theme of flight. There are whimsical elements embedded for fun.