The Memorial Park Mosaic Wall Project is an extensive and intensive public arts project that will be taking place through the end of October. Throughout this summer, VSA TN intern, Alex Evans, will be providing weekly stories on the reason for doing this project, background on various key players in the project, and updates on the group that will be working on the project. Here is a first in the series by Alex Evans.
It was when local artist Yvette Reneé began taking her daughter to the playground at Memorial Park three years ago that the walls first caught her attention. Once a way to raise money to build the original playground, these 12 walls had become decrepit, suffering years of weathering, vandalism, and the effects of the flood of 2010. After much contemplating, Yvette decided to pursue restoring the walls, leading her to collaborate with Lori Kissinger and VSA TN. The Hendersonville Parks Department informed Yvette that the city had been planning to tear the walls down completely, but she presented them with an alternative: a community project focused on restoring the walls with mosaic art, with a special emphasis on child involvement.
After approval, Yvette spent months collecting supplies for the project and connecting with artists and organizations interested in participating. She is currently in the process of grinding down the walls and removing remnants of tiles that used to line them. This will provide a clean slate for the mosaic project.
There are at least 20 groups and several hundred people who are already scheduled to participate, with Registration Day on May 20th at Memorial Park offering the chance for even more people to volunteer throughout the summer.
Just as there is an assortment of materials being used in the creation of the mosaics—stained glass, a variety of tiles, seashells, and more—there are a variety of sources who have supported the foundation of this project. Aside from Yvette’s own Diamond Studio (which she owns and operates with her husband, Mark), Lori Kissinger and VSA, and the Hendersonville Parks Department, key support for the basis of this project has come from the following sources:
Wilma Richards & Kathy Plourde—local ceramicists making custom tile medallions for the backs of the walls
Butch Quinn—stained glass donations
Paul Crommelin—stained glass donations
Angela Elkins, Martha Hathorn, & Faron Todd—tile and tool donations
Jean Mitchell—sea glass donation
Louisville Tile—tile donation
Refine Tile—tile donation
Super Home Surplus—tile donation
The Home Depot—gift cards for supplies
Funding is currently being provided by The Community Foundation, The Nashville Predators Foundation and the Woman’s Cub of Hendersonville. Additional funding is being requested. If you wish to provide funding and/or become involved with this program, please contact VSA TN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yvette hopes for the project to be completed sometime this Fall.
Artist’s digital concept for finished walls