"In Harmony, Small Things Grow"

Submitted by Karen Singer Tileworks Inc

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Client: Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

Location: Olney, MD, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $175,000

Project Team

Artist

Karen Singer

Karen Singer Tileworks, Inc.

Client

Jane DiGirolamo

Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

Industry Resource

Steve Griffith

Spikes Trophies

Industry Resource

Rob Schlichter

STM Contractors

Client

Nick Clulow

Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

Overview

Our challenge was to showcase the school’s values and culture in a
meaningful work of art to inspire increased giving. The mural is
structured around five arched “windows” each representing one of Good
Counsel’s Xaverian values. This integration of artwork into the building and the campaign
process was very fruitful for our client. By bringing us in early, the
donor wall design materials could be used to form the centerpiece of
all campaign literature. Imagery from the mural was reiterated in the
naming plaques placed throughout the new building, and in the donor
gifts created as thank yous.

Goals

Our challenge was to showcase the school’s values and culture in a
meaningful work of art that would inspire increased giving. The mural is
structured around five arched “windows” each representing one of Good
Counsel’s Xaverian values. The title for the piece and the campaign is a
quote from the Xaverian Brothers who created the school. The cherry
tree and blossom imagery refers to a memorable flowering cherry on the
original school campus. This image in conjunction with the "In Harmony"
quote led to using the blossom image as the secondary motif of the
project. This integration of artwork into the building and the campaign
process was very fruitful for our client. By bringing us in early, the
donor wall design materials could be used to form the centerpiece of
all campaign literature. Imagery from the mural was reiterated in the
naming plaques placed throughout the new building, and in the donor
gifts created as thank yous.

Process

Collaboration
took place in multiple ways with this project. Choosing the imagery for
each value sparked a multi-person client-artist dialogue about the
school’s core identity- past, present and future. It was critical to
collaborate with the architect around the design for the entry area and
with the contractors to complete the trim elements and transitions
within the entire entry space. We worked closely with two
subcontractors, STM Contractors, who spent weeks installing the tile,
and Spikes Trophies, who created the naming plaques, gold band areas,
and who sandblasted all the names into the "grass" tiles. We also worked
closely with our client, Jane DiGirolamo and her associate, Erica
Tituana, on text layout and placement, font choice, color choices and
many other aspects.

Additional Information

One unusual form of collaboration connected the project directly to student learning. We invited Nick Clulow, Art Teacher at OLGHS, to spend an intensive day in our studio learning tile making techniques. He then worked with multiple students to design and fabricate the tiles in the "gold band" area. This $10 million campaign was the largest ever attempted at the school, and our work is credited as a critical factor in its success. Several thousand people attended the opening performance and celebration events in May of 2016.