Quirky Dutch Summer #5 Mosaic / Mozaïek

Marit is an endless font of inspiration, you will not want to miss her Mosaic post full of ideas and more…

 we visited one of our favorite spots in Blacksburg, Virginia recently that has a wonderful mosaic constructed about 15 years ago by public school students, teachers and other volunteers on the side of a gas station…

imagine our shock and dismay to discover it was soon to be torn down and demolished…

we could not believe our eyes and felt so helpless…

 just what they need in Blacksburg more empty store fronts and office space in an ugly brownstone building…

by chance we got to meet the builder, Steve Hill, a former Blacksburg resident and member of Virginia Tech’s Class of 1970…

  we looked him in the eyes and he did not seem too concerned about the wrecking of the mural as he said it would have cost $10,000 or more to try and save the mosaic with no guarantees that it would not crumble…

the photo above is one we took back in 2009, the quote was obscured on this visit by construction debris…

it made me cry and all I could say as we left his office was “this is just so sad“…

 I printed a photo of part of the mosaic wall to use to create my mosaic journal pages…

cutting wavy pieces and using some of my flowers embedded in tissue paper as the focal image on each page…

I cut the shank off the back of a bee skep button to compliment the color in the Black Eyed Susan on the right page…

if you click on “Quirky Dutch Summer” near the top of my sidebar you will find Marit’s wonderful artist interview for this week along with a tutorial for making your own art journal from scratch…

“We are like the spider.
We weave our life and then move along in it.
We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream.
This is true for the entire universe.” ~The Upanishads

p.s. some of THE most fantastic mosaics we have ever seen are in Philadelphia at The Magic Garden…we visited back in April of 2008 here and here

we look forward to another visit there some day

footnote: in trying to check who to give credit to for the quote on the mosaic wall I came upon this very interesting blog post…for the rest of the story and a great photo of the wall  you can visit here

“Inner vision is the prescription
Art is the physician
Art heals.

Work runs over me some days
My feet point to the sky
Sleep smothers me

If we’re not
we should be

If you were not already doing too much

You wouldn’t be doing this”

30 responses to “Quirky Dutch Summer #5 Mosaic / Mozaïek

  1. Yes Patty, it is truly sad ,when things like that is not to save any more.
    But some of it will live on in your wonderful mosaic journal.
    How beautiful are your embedded flowers sweetie.
    Wish you a beautiful day!


  2. What a wonderful, beautiful mosaic wall – it is indeed very sad that some people don’t see the value of things like these… but you kept it alive by showing photos and using parts of the mosaic in your art, that’s awesome dear! I love the mosaic frame on your page and the story behind it makes it even more wonderful!


  3. It’s so sad that things like that can’t be saved, but you did a great job to keep the memory alive!!!


  4. Thank you for the wonderful mosaik-pictures.
    Your Jounal pages are gorgous, dear Patty


  5. Hello chère Patty, quel dommage que personne ne pense à sauver cette merveille, ils pourraient construire autour.
    Votre travail est remarquable et si original comme d’habitude. Merci pour le partage.


  6. What?!!!! I think that is absolutely awful that school students and volunteers took the time to create such a wonderful mosaic that has been there for years and no one feels the need to preserve it for posterity. It’s sickening when things like that happen. If the builders and architects were smart, they would have saved the mural in such a way that it could have been a focal point of the new building. A piece of history to make what is modern contain at least a bit of personality. Your mosaic journal page turned out beautifully. I actually have a book called photo memories that has ideas for different projects, like using old photos and cutting them up for a mosaic — I did that on a frame using photos of the ocean, lots of shades of blue. Love the look, too, of those pretty pressed flowers. Wishing you a wonderful day. Tammy


  7. It’s nice to know that some of this beautiful mosaic will live on in your work. Maybe you can go back and try and keep some of the actual mosaic when they do the demolition so that pieces of it may live on ;0)


  8. This is so sad – but the artwork lives on, and is reborn, through your creativity … xo


  9. That is terribly sad!! In my kids elem school, each years “graduating” 5th graders do a mosaic or other permanent art project somewhere in the school. I love seeing them in the hallway.


  10. What a sad end to that lovely mosaic! On a lighter note, I really like your 2 page spread. It is so nice to “see” you,



  11. What an absolute shame… I wonder if there is a way to be able to save some pieces of it… perhaps the builder would let you in (escorted for safety) after hours to collect some of the debris? I am glad you got photos of it. It is so lovely and inspiring. Your pages are beautiful… a beautiful tribute to a wonderful work of art…


  12. It is beautiful! Sometimes the most beautiful things are fleeting…. we need to cherish each moment, don’t we! Glad you captured it and put it in your pages……


  13. Love these mosaics, fabulous pages.


  14. It is always sad if things like these cannot be saved. It shows that we need to savour and memorise every moment … your ‘art memories’ are so precious!


  15. It is so disappointing that there is so little value placed on such a lovely labor of love by those students. I am grateful you and Jim took such wonderful pictures and your journal entry is gorgeous and all your pretty pressed flowers. Thank you for sharing Patty.


  16. they always pave a paradise… sigh… xoxo


  17. Your page is also very good. The flowers you added into your work are great. It doesn’t matter you speak English, I’m happy that you send me a message. Can I follow your blog? Its very nice! ? Please send me a reply at my website…


  18. That’s such a shame Patty. Pity they couldn’t save the mosaic and perhaps turn it into a pathway or something. Thanks for the links too.


  19. Sigh, how sad. This type of thing is endemic and happening at a faster rate than ever. I hardly recognize some parts of the area when I’m driving around. It’s nice that you’ve preserved the mosaic in photos and in your lovely art.


  20. such a shame such a pity such a thing that makes me angry…Make art is still a matter of …too money to rescue. very sad…


  21. So sad to think that a treasure as this could mean so little to so many…you’ve preserved your memories in a beautiful way, Patty, and can now visit the mural in your pictures whenever you wish…


  22. This is so sad. I am glad you have a bit of the mosaic and artistic talents to add to your collection and share with all of us.


  23. That *is* so sad! As if the world needed more empty, lifeless building.
    What the world need is ART. What about the efforts and the souls of those children and teachers that worked so hard in that mosaic? How isn’t their work worth AT LEAST $10,000 to save?

    That is not only a wall covered in pieces glass and ceramic, those are the hopes of a generation.

    So, so sad. Yet your tribute is beautiful, Patty, and the mosaic will always live on in your memories and heart (and now in ours because you shared it with us).


  24. stempelchaotin

    Oh wow so wonderful Patty.
    Great phots, thanks ofor sharing us and i love the pressed flowers.
    Your page is a fest. Wonderful work.

    Have a sunny weekend Sweetie. xoxo


  25. Patty
    That is incredibly sad. Everything appears to be so disposable these days. To sacrifice art for the sake of soulless buildings – it can leave one speechless.
    You created the most beautiful post and not only does this mosaic belong to anyone who has viewed it in person, but it now partly belongs to me, living all this distance away in Scotland, whose memory the story will stay in.
    Your Journal pages definitely convey the depth of your feelings regarding this art.
    Wishes and thank you for sharing not only the beauty of the mosaic but the beauty of your art.


  26. Carmen Dyson

    Hate to bother you with this- I have wanted to see the installation of cloud and crystals every since you posted photos. Then the heat. Now I’m thinking of going this weekend and can’t tell from the Webb site or this weekend’s Washington Post, or the direct phone line, if the exibit is still there. If my luck holds, it’s gone. Do you recall how long the cloud was to hang in Dunbarton Oaks?


  27. This is so sad! All in the name of progress… Take care-and I love what you did to preserve the memory…


  28. Patty, what a sad ending…I love mosaics and am drawn to them too…I love that you photographed it and can now use it as an inspiration or part of another piece. I am so inspired by Marit and would love to take one of her classes. Your blog world is so filled with talent! PS – mosaics would be a good group activity for MMC!


  29. Carmen Dyson

    A sad story for sure. I think you were there for a reason. You expressed the loss so well. And then acted on what you discovered. Art grows into art.


  30. bethwellington

    Actually, it’s worse than that as a possibility existed which was never seemingly shared with the public…One of the area school principals was willing to have it reconstructed at his building, but the only option publicized was the need to raise an inordinate amount of money to move the whole wall.
    “Contractor Paul Shively anticipates a July 16th demolition start date. If the public wants access to the pieces, he recommends a roll-off and he will scoop that section into the container and it could be hauled off.”

    And despite the rush to knock things down, there has now been an empty lot and it’s over a month later.




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