Volunteers of America – Minnesota’s Southwest Senior Center unveiled its 100 square foot mosaic located on the exterior of the building on Saturday, November 15. Over 120 seniors, students and neighborhood resi-dents helped to create the oval that features scenes from Southwest Minneapolis. The morning included the unveiling of the mosaic, mosaic activities, refreshments and a slide show of the process and the participants.
“This process was a great example of how art can bring people together. People of all ages worked with each other to create this beautiful piece. I think everyone who sees the mosaic will be inspired by the work and its celebration of our neighborhood,” said Mary Ann Schoenberger, Director of Southwest Senior Center. The mosaic features images of the neighborhood and its residents that were brought up during the four visioning workshops. Key components include the Lake Harriet Bandshell, Lake Harriet, a school, the Center, the Rose Garden, and people of all shapes and sizes. Viewers will also spot surprises in the mosaic, such as special pieces of jewelry or coins that were donated by participants.
“This project is exactly what community art is supposed to be – art made by the community, for the community – it’s a delight to see so many people enjoy it,” said Maria Ricke, co-owner of Mosaic on a Stick and the lead artist on the project.
“Working on the mosaic was fun on so many different levels. I loved the challenge of fitting the pieces together and I enjoyed getting to interact with the students from Barton Open School. Just looking at it makes me smile to think of all the people who worked together to make this happen,” said Pat Marentic, a Southwest Center participant.
“This project was a great way to start the year,” said Allison Rubin Forester, teacher at Barton Open School. “The students interacted with their community in new ways, working alongside the seniors and discussing ideas about neighborhood spaces and sketching visuals during the visioning process. They learned from and were inspired by artist Maria Ricke to cut tile and lay out designs giving thought to color and texture. It’s been a phenomenal learning experience.” Barton students also conducted a graffiti survey around their school, and helped to build the mosaic.
Funding for the mosaic came from a City of Minneapolis Innovative Graffiti Prevention Micro-Grant, Volunteers of America – Minnesota and Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG).
The unveiling and celebration took place at Southwest Senior Center, 3612 Bryant Avenue South. For more information, please contact Mary Ann Schoenberger at 612.822.3194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Southwest Center
Southwest Center, a program of Volunteers of America – Minnesota, serves the neighboring Minneapolis community through a wide variety of programs, services and volunteer opportunities that support the health and independence of older adults. The Center strives to be a welcoming environment where seniors feel comfortable socializing and learning ways to enhance their physical and mental health. Southwest’s current programs and services include health and nutrition programs, including senior dining; exercise classes; health screenings, diabetes club; presentations on assorted wellness topics; a variety of educational and cultural events; volunteer opportunities; caregiver support services, social work services for Medicare, housing, financial and legal issues; and “DayElders” adult day service.
About Volunteers of America – Minnesota
Volunteers of America – Minnesota is a nonprofit organization founded in 1896 which offers a wide variety of services to more than 27,000 children, adolescents and their families, older adults, students, persons with disabilities and special needs, and ex-offenders each year. It is one of the oldest, largest and most comprehensive human service organizations in the state and has more than 60 programs, 700 employees and 4,000 volunteers. Volunteers of America has a rich history of developing innovative, quality programs to meet emerging social issues and prides itself on sponsoring programs which are able to articulate explicitly the outcomes achieved in its program participants’ lives. For more information about Volunteers of America of Minnesota, visit www.voamn.org, or call 952.945.4000.