NOVEMBER 16, 2005


Bricktown mosaic project brings community together

Rendering of the Oklahoma Centennial Mosaic Mural

After 20 years of working on the Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) mosaic project, Mary Ann Moore thought she would be done with grids and frost-proof tiles for a while. But less than a year later, she has another massive undertaking – the Oklahoma Centennial Mosaic Mural. Moore, a professor of visual art at OCCC, started the project early this fall at an off-campus location in Bricktown.

Moore, who led the College’s mosaic project that spanned 20 years, has a tremendous amount of experience with ceramic tile mosaic murals and knows that a project of this magnitude is not a job for one person.

“Volunteers are vital,” said Moore. “There were hundreds of community members who came out for the College’s mosaic. By the end of this project, we will probably have hundreds of students and volunteers as well.”

In fact many community members and students who worked on the College mosaics are back for more. Carrie Snyder and Nora York volunteered for the College’s project at its inception in 1984. Currently Snyder and York drive in from Shawnee and Norman each day to help Moore direct volunteers and students on the Centennial Mosaic.

“I don’t think people realize what it takes to create a piece of art like this,” said Snyder. “It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle, very complicated and intricate, but once it’s finished it will be amazing.”

Oklahoma City Community College students paint tiles for the Oklahoma Centennial Mosaic Mural. The mosaic is being created at an off-campus location in Bricktown.

The $180,000 project, which is being co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, will be on permanent display along the west end of the Bricktown canal once complete.

Moore is using a different technique this time around. Instead of placing each tile on the wall, the mosaic will be sectioned off and placed on mesh material and then attached to the wall. The process will take less time and will allow for the wall to be ready for the 2007 centennial dedication.

OCCC Acting President Paul Sechrist said the opportunity for the College to be a part of the state’s centennial project is truly an honor.

“This mosaic really shows the true sprit of Oklahoma City Community College and the state of Oklahoma. Students and community members from all over Oklahoma, from all walks of life, young and old working side-by-side for a common goal.”

The mosaic features a number of Oklahoma historical symbols including red clay tiles with each of the 77 Oklahoma counties listed.

“There is such a history of the state in these panels,” said Sechrist. “I’m glad we will be able to share this artwork with our fellow Oklahomans and use it as a venue to educate everyone about the symbols that represent the great state of Oklahoma."

Currently Moore and her students and volunteers are making and painting the tiles. While they have finished the center wall, Moore said there is still much work left to do and volunteers are always appreciated. Every Thursday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. Moore opens the studio to community volunteers and welcomes those interested in the project to call or stop by.

For more information about volunteering, call Arts and Humanities at OCCC at 682-7558.

Contact: Jessica Martinez-Brooks, media relations coordinator, 405.682.7590