Julia Whitney Barnes: "Historias Coloridas de México" (glass mosaic), 2013, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, Brooklyn, NY

Julia Whitney Barnes:
“Historias Coloridas de México” (glass mosaic), 2013, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, Brooklyn

I just completed work on a permanent mosaic commission at the Brooklyn School of Inquiry, 50 Avenue P, Brooklyn, NY. I worked with the art teacher Nanna Tannier, along with 75 gifted and talented third graders. The theme of the mosaic is ancient to contemporary Mexico, which the students studied in social studies and also made individual drawings based on Mexico in art class.  I looked at and scanned the hundred-plus drawings the students made and researched the weighty topic during a trip to Mexico City this spring. Of the many artists that have taken on this theme, ones of particular interest for me are: Juan O’Gorman, Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera. This was the first project I had collaborated on with kids and found the experience a ton of fun, hard work and rewarding. The mosaic was installed on the 4th floor of the school and am happy that it will be enjoyed by countless students and staff in the years to come.

thousands of pieces of glass smalti

thousands of pieces of glass smalti

students at work

students at work

students at work

students at work

mosaic in process

mosaic in process

grouting the mosaic

grouting the mosaic

grouting the mosaic

grouting the mosaic

detail of Temple and double headed serpent

detail of Temple and double headed serpent

detail of Tolmec head

detail of Tolmec head

detail of day of the dead skull

detail of day of the dead skull

installation team! (art teacher Nanna Tannier, left in blue; Julia Whitney Barnes, right in blue and red)

installation team! (art teacher Nanna Tannier, left in blue; Julia Whitney Barnes, right in blue)

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