I’ve been peripherally aware of artist Angela Carlson Talle’s mosaic murals for some time. I never knew the name of the artist, but I’ve walked past the mural she created on the building where Muddy Waters used to be probably hundreds of times, and very often I see the mural she created at the Peace House as I drive east on Franklin Avenue to turn onto 35W. Her mosaics have a joy to them — they are bright, glittery and full of exuberant energy. I recall thinking to myself on several occasions to try to figure out who the artist was that created them, but usually it was more just a moment’s pleasure passing them by.
It wasn’t until the last few weeks when I learned that the Peace House mural is in danger of being destroyed that I found out who the artist was, and a little about her story. Thanks from a tip by Madeline Douglass, I learned that Peace House is moving, and their current building is going to be torn down to make room for a new mixed-use development that will include affordable housing. I’ve spoken to people from Aeon and the Peace House, who both say that unfortunately, there is no way the mural can be moved.
Ever since I began writing the story, I’ve been more acutely aware of how I feel as I pass by the Peace House mural. I drive by it nearly every day, usually in the evening as the sun gets lower in the sky and makes the tiles glitter with light. And every time I see it, I realize how much I am going to miss it when they finally tear it down.
It’s a small thing — a moment of experiencing beauty in the course of my day, and something that I wasn’t even fully conscious of enjoying until the realization hit that the experience will come to an end. Living in an urban area, we don’t get to be surrounded by the beautiful tranquility of nature. We have some trees, and if you’re lucky to live or work near a lake or a river, you might get to add that to the list of beautiful things during the day. For me, if and when the Peace Mural is torn down, that will be one less glimmer of beauty that I get to experience in a given day.
I don’t know, maybe a miracle will happen. Maybe they will figure out a way to preserve Talle’s mosaic, or maybe someone could hire her to re-create it. I have my doubts, but we can hope. Sometimes I hate having to write about arts organizations closing, historic homes being destroyed, and other such stories that I seem to write about. In the meantime, I’m appreciating the Peace House mural with increased enthusiasm, realizing that up until a few weeks ago, I had taken it for granted.