A mosaic commission by Public Art for Public Schools for the Middle College High School and the International High School in Long Island City is being installed in August. Mosaic fabrication by Mosaika.
A series of 6 classroom workshops on mapping and geography were held in spring of 2016.
Maps are subjective. An upside down map of the world is used in some curriculums to illustrate this very simple fact. The CartOURgraphy design is based on two maps of the world, one “upside down” interwoven with the other “right side up”. The two maps were handpainted as watercolors with a color spectrum across the land masses, and then cut into strips and woven into a single paper “cloth”. In the larger mosaic, the five boroughs of New York, with Queens in the middle, are made with a reflective silver mosaic, which will catch the light as people move through the space. At the shared front entrance of both schools, is a mosaic of the five boroughs “cut” like puzzle pieces from the larger interwoven map mosaic and surrounded by the reflective silver mosaic catching the light as people move in and out of the building. Each of the five boroughs in this smaller mosaic is made from the interwoven world maps. As complementary mosaics, these images reflect the intricate matrix of local and global cultures created by the students, faculty, and staff of each of these schools on a daily basis. In the International High School, 40 different languages are being spoken with many students have recently arrived in the US. The Middle College High School admits students who are facing all kinds of challenges, and works to help students earn high school diplomas and then Associates Degrees.
Photography by Etienne Frossard