Current Public Art Projects
North Mountain Park Compass Rose
Created in the studio of Illahe Gallery, artist Sue Springer created this colorful compass mosaic to help orient students and park visitors to the cardinal directions and to provide a beautiful, interesting and interactive point of entry to the Demonstration Gardens. The mosaic includes mountains, landmarks and rivers of the surrounding landscape and helps visitors and students alike orient themselves in the natural world. A workshop was held at the Nature Center in August of 2011 which allowed community members to make pieces representing plants and animals which were then included in the mosaic.
The Ashland Peace Wall
In the summer of 2008, Ashland's Peace Fence was destroyed by vandals. The community grieved its loss, even as we pondered ways to resurrect the Peace Fence in a sturdier and less vulnerable form. The idea of a Peace Wall, comprised of tiles of the Peace Fence panels, was proposed. In March, 2009, the Ashland City Council unanimously approved the Ashland Public Library as the site for this new Peace Wall. Because we have excellent photos of every Peace Fence panel (over 200 of them), we can create ceramic tiles replicating each one. The tiles are created using a dye sublimation process that results in tiles that are resistant to fading and weather. They will be encased in a mosaic background and placed within a metal sculpture in front of the Library. A prototype of the design by artist Sue Springer can be viewed at the Illahe Gallery on 4th and B Streets in Ashland's Railroad District.
Helman School Tile Project
"My Favorite Book"
The courtyard benches outside Helman Elementary School’s new library recently received colorful tile embellishments on the theme of “My Favorite Book.” Thanks to the creativity of 240 Helman School students from Kindergarten through Grade 4, the outside reading area has been transformed into an inviting place to read a book, hear a story or seek refuge from the weather. As part of an “Artist in the Schools” program, Sue Springer, owner and artist at Illahe Studios and Gallery worked with 10 classes to create tiles with images from their favorite books. Monica Rivera, an art student at SOU assisted as part of a college internship program.
At the initial classroom meeting, students discussed books, how imagination creates images in your mind while reading and ways to express the love they have for their favorite books. The students then created simple drawings to use as reference when painting the tiles. At the second classroom session, students hand painted the 6 inch tiles with high fired glazes which, after firing, resulted in a hard glazed surface, which will withstand generations of student use. Images of Harry Potter, Captain Underpants and Horton join Curious George and Olivia the Pig to create a lively, colorful gift from the students to their school community.