ARTree_Pic._1.jpgBicyclist rides by as ARTree volunteers install tile on the community mosaic mural being installed on South Fork Trail in Santa Clarita

Volunteers Help Complete Santa Clarita Mosaic Mural in Record Time

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Tucked next to the busy South Fork Trail in Santa Clarita, The Mosaic Mural has pulled in volunteers over the last two weekends, including a few cyclists who stepped off their bikes, curious about the new public art along the path.

In fact so many have stopped by to help that the 40-foot-long mural project, organized by The ARTree Community Arts Center, may be completed before the original deadline of June 28.

More than a few times people stopped to ask about the mural, which was designed by Shelly Mussenden and funded by a grant from the City of Santa Clarita. Many began to help paint or assemble corresponding color tiles from materials donated by the community.

"I came up with the design that I thought would best fit Santa Clarita," said Mussenden. "I chose to use vibrant colors and organic line work, which you will see in most of my work. Once the mural/mosaic is complete, I think the color and shapes will add a nice contrast to the surrounding environment."

The artist hopes the mural will inspire more people to make the trail a destination. "A number of locations were looked at (including in Canyon Country) before this site was chosen," said Noel Bermudez, ARTree Communications Chair.

"This was funded by a $4,000 grant from the City of Santa Clarita, which is the cost," adds Bermudez. "If this is successful, we would love to do it again with either a grant or a specific fundraiser."

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It's the first mural/mosaic for the artist. "I absolutely want to create more murals throughout the city as well as other cities. So far it's been so much fun, from drawing out rough sketches to placing the tiles on the wall," said Mussenden. "The best part about this whole process is that this is a community effort. I am so excited that my family and friends have helped with the mosaic, that's definitely special to me. Then to see the community volunteer and people that have stopped their workout to help create the mural is just amazing."

The work will continue this Saturday and Sunday. The skills needed to help with the mural are about the easiest public art qualifications you may come across: no artistic ability is required and all ages are encouraged to participate. Hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 3 and 4.

"We thought it would take up to seven weekends to put the tile on. However, it has gone much faster due to the number of volunteers," said Bermudez. We expect tile to be finished this weekend. Final cleanup, grouting and sealing will be done the following weekend."

"It's wonderful to see everyone come out to support a good cause and the art in the community," said Mussenden.

If you miss the chance to work on it, you can always take a bike ride or walk and see it in person.

A young bicyclist is one of many who stopped during their ride to add tile to the ARTree tile mosaic mural being installed on South Fork Trail

About the Author

Ed Fuentes is an arts journalist, photographer, graphic designer, and digital muralist who covers a variety of topics and geographies in Southern California for KCET.
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