"Art can tell many kinds of stories. An artist can conjure a narrative about something imaginary, made up from pieces of our experience or the real world....Like the mythologies evoked by a constellation of stars in the night sky, or a configuration of tesserae that coalesce to recount historical narrative in a Byzantine mosaic, artists can embrace and assemble the unvarnished accounts of our individual lives to help us define ourselves and our communities."

Philip Brookman, "Discovering Community in 150 Years of Art"

These commissions are community based visual art projects and use "The Blue Sky Project" as their umbrella name. They are all collaborations that engage people of all ages, abilities, and ethnicities in an experience that puts form to themes of unity, hope, and giving. Vividly colored mosaics of handmade and recycled ceramic tile, mirror and glass are used to compose child-like whimsical scenes of birds and animals at play; imaginary plants in joyful settings where time goes by peaceful and happily.

The projects are funded in a variety of ways. Communities, churches, and schools raise money through individual donations with grants from arts organizations and foundations providing the larger portion of the funding. Every dollar raised goes toward materials, workshop instruction, design and installation costs.

The beautification of pubic property by the townspeople themselves is powerful. These public art projects can be revisited and shared with future generations. They carry feelings of personal ownership and pride.

See slide show

Project 1: "El Portal de los Milagros: The Doorway Into Hope"
Foley Elementary School Entrance: Foley, MN (Four 10 ft by 4 ft panels)

Kaleidescope Artscape Detail Project 2: "Kaleidoscope Artscape Collaboration"
Wilson Park Wheelchair Accessable Playground: St. Cloud, MN (15ft by 40ft installed on park shelter)


Kindness Archway Detail Project 3: "Kindness Archway"
Discovery Elementary School: Waite Park, MN Library Entrance (10ft by 20ft archway)


Let the Children Come Detail Project 4: "Let the Children Come"
Trinity Lutheran Church: Sauk Rapids MN (Three panels 3ft by 3ft)


Harmony Park Detail Project 5: "Harmony Park: Project for Reducing Rural Violence" Long Prairie, MN (Two 12ft by 5ft steel reinforced concrete planters and a 26 ft long sitting bench)

For more information on these projects go to www.theblueskyproject.com.


© 2011 Claire Witt. All rights reserved.