The article below originally appeared in the Half Moon Bay Review and is being reprinted with permission.
For four women – two Coastsiders and two Peninsula residents – an adult class in mosaic-making allowed them to piece together life lessons in the form of art for La Honda Elementary School students.
An open house at the school, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on May 25, will display the result: a 4-foot-by-5-foot mural, created by the women, said La Honda Elementary Principal Kristen Lindstrom, and mounted on the exterior wall of the school’s multipurpose room.
The mural occupies a wall in a building commonly used for school events and passed by students and parents on the way to classes.
“Art is always positive,” said Catherine Favre of Half Moon Bay, one of the four artists. “It makes everyone happy.”
In addition, she added, the mural is meant to inspire the students to create art and also to show them something about life.
The design is based on a spiral similar to a snail’s shell, upon which are interwoven elements representing the four elements – water, air, earth and fire.
The spiral is a shape commonly seen in natural objects like shells, reflects a mathematical formula and is known as a “golden spiral,” said artist Delma Soult of La Honda.
The design was her idea, which occurred to her when she, Favre, San Mateo resident Diana McNutt and Kristin Melanson of Burlingame were in the second year of a mosaic mural class taught at the College of San Mateo.
In the first year of the class the four women were introduced to mosaic-making. In the second year, they took mosaic design to the next level by creating and executing a mural that was to be donated.
It was Soult who proposed creating a mural for La Honda Elementary. “I thought it would be an excellent place to have it,” she said.
Considering their mural’s design, the women decided to divide it into four parts and settled on the symbolism of the four elements.
The elements were important, said Favre, who has worked in multimedia and sculpture and used to make musical instruments, “because they form everything. They are part of the chain of life.”
The elements were tied to recognizable and intertwined parts of the students’ lives. Earth, for example, was exemplified by a volcano, from which spewed fire.
The spiral, intertwined with the four elements, shows how things interact, “how they form life, really,” said Favre.
The design of the Golden Spiral and the four elements was originally drawn using the Exquisite Corpse method, which was then refined, in several steps, to integrate color, values and detail.
The article below originally appeared on MercuryNews.com and is being reprinted with permission.
The mosaic materials were ceramic tiles, stones, glass and mirrors, and various miscellaneous items as well. The project was carried out under the guidance of CSM art teacher Jude Pittman of Pacifica, the original four artists, with the assistance of other La Honda residents including Tom Dodd who installed the mosaic at the school, and Sergio Togliatti, who coordinated the installation.
The mosaic mural will be introduced to the public on May 25 at an open house at the school.
The open house will also include a spring concert in a recital by third- to fifth-grade students who are part of the school’s music program. The recital program will be varied, incorporating songs by the Beatles and other contemporary pop music. There will also be an art show featuring art by students.
And at the center of the day will be the mural, which hopefully will inspire the creation of more works like it.
“It was made by four adults with the intention of inspiring kids in the future,” said Soult.
The women say they would like to see the walls of La Honda Elementary display more murals – many more, in fact.
“The idea is to inspire the kids to make more murals and cover the whole wall,” said Favre.
Admission to the open house is free. For information, call the school at 747-0051.