Client: Fitton Center for the Creative Arts
Location: Hamilton, Ohio, United States
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $20,000
Jan Brown Checco
Brown Checco Fine Arts
Community Design Alliance
“Nature Calls!” is a fantasy centered on the matriarch and patriarch of “greeness” – Mother Nature and GreenMan. Set in the restrooms for ladies and gentlemen in the Fitton Center, the mosaic installation is comprised of handmade high fired glazed ceramics combined with commercial tiles. The design and fabrication period filled 9 months and included tile making by students in the center's ceramics classes, fulfilling a desire to share technique through demonstration and teaching with the chosen medium.
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts experienced a dramatic renovation in 2014, including the mosaic art treatment for the restrooms at the theatre. Situated next to the Great Miami River, the art center is keenly aware of the importance of preservation of the natural environment. The themes of nature and water ecology were a perfect fit for the art and social awareness themes in Fitton Center's cultural arts curriculum.
Community Design Alliance interior designer Cindy Dingledein worked closely with the artist and Fitton Center administrators to review the concept, and to provide the commercial tiles needed for certain sections of the mosaic installation. The instructors of ceramics at Fitton worked closely with the artist to learn and oversee their students' creation of 6" high fired tiles integrated in the artwork.
It is unusual to have such a didactic art treatment in public restrooms, which is precisely why Fitton Center loves this installation. The teaching of waste water treatment in the men's room is supported by a diagram that outlines the pathway of the water we use everyday. The beauty of the ladies' room garden includes little visitors by giving them mirrors to see themselves in the colorful setting. The portrait of Mother Nature includes found objects that suggest that each stone, shell, coral has special value.