Nothing Like the last minute… / by EricOkdeh

I was fortunate to find a window of opportunity to install a 15ft x 18ft mosaic piece on the Bibleway Wall this past week, in spite of the weather getting colder by the day. I had 2 days of mild temperatures to work with, and with the help of my 5 man crew, we wrapped up just in time.

Here is a shot of the Murals design.

The design took its inspiration from a summers worth of neighborhood programs involving writing, painting, and maskmaking, and is very loosely inspired by the Paul Lawrence Dunbar poem "We Wear the Mask". The theme revolves around healing, and the ways in which ones faith and surrounding friends and neighbors can provide support. The photos are taken from actual events over the summer, and the two main figures were summer participants who posed for me. The imagery of the waterfall in the arches appears as actual stained glass that my assistants and I spent a month cutting. The waterfall continues in paint below the bridge. The water and the idea of reflection were a way of bringing religious elements to the design without being too heavy handed. The design was a collaborative effort between my Graterford Prison Class and myself.

Now that there is a tiny bit of background on the design... here is the mosaic installed, which at the time of this photo is 90% finished. It took a month to cut in my studio, and its my most ambitious mosaic piece to date. Its comprised of about 40-50 different colors, and (in terms of total square footage) my largest stained glass piece.

This week will probably be the last bit of decent weather we have this year, and I was very lucky to get this up in time. I wasn't particularly fond of leaving the arches blank until the springtime.

the small pic doesnt do the cuts justice, so here are a few details