Las Flores de Tejas y Abejas Mexicanas

Submitted by Jonathan Muzacz

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Client: CBRE

Location: Bee Cave, TX, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $15,000

Project Team

Fabrication and Installation

Carmen Rangel

The Mosaic Workshop

Photo/Video

Tony Moreno

Dark Mode

Overview

Awarded the feature 10-foot by 20-foot mural location outside Whole Foods by the CBRE and the Hive Arts Center from an international call for submissions. Commissioned by CBRE to create my digital impressionism glass mosaic design concept involving four types of Texas wildflowers in bloom (Bluebonnet, Firewheel, Spiderwort and Echinacea also known as Coneflower) alongside a buzzing bee hive paying homage to the origin story for the name of the town of Bee Caves, Texas. Mexican honeybees specifically used to nest in a cave at the nearby creek.

Metaphorically I hoped to show our state’s natural beauty in bloom year round, as well as make a subtle commentary that nature has no politico/national boundaries, freely blooming and migrating across arbitrary borders, human constructs meant to divide, control and contain us.

Goals

The goal of the project was to activate a large empty wall space on one of the main thoroughfares in the Hill Country Galleria outdoor shopping center. This wall being on the side of a Whole Foods was perfect for the vibrant florals and reference to honey and honeybees.

I pitched mosaic specifically because the client requested low-maintenance, exterior media appropriate for the hot Texas summers and occasional below freezing temperatures, as well as consistent sun wear.

In general, the galleria is an uninspiring example of architecture, hence the need for monumental artworks to make a splash on the existing buildings and make the common spaces a bit more interesting to look at.

Lacking a feature or focal point in this section of the center, my mural serves to give people walking and driving by something to see sparkle and change depending on the source of light, and also something textural for people up close to the piece.

Process

As this was an RFP, my design concept won first place selection by the jury, and thus was commissioned to be fabricated and installed. I had hoped to make the piece even bigger and fill the natural brick, however the allotted budget was not sufficient for more than twice the surface area coverage.

CBRE was fairly hands off and allowed me complete freedom to manage all logistics of the project, including lift rental and storage, wall preparation, installation days, etc.

My expert installation team has been with me since my very first mosaic project, and even with seven colors of grout to apply, we had a smooth and painless few days.

Daniel Goodwin of Polis Interactive fabricated the steel frame.

Additional Information

In its entirety this mosaic mural consists of more than 150 different varieties and colors of glass, including studio vitreous, nebula iridescent, and other specialty glass, as well as 7 different complementary colors of grout. In total there are 40,470 individually hand-placed glass tiles.