On May 15th, artists, community members, government officials, and MOSAIC residents were among the 100 attendees who enjoyed the dedication ceremony of MOSAIC’s newest art installation, Leaning In. Crafted by local artist Teresa Arico, well-known for her work with mosaics, the 12 feet tall permanent installation is located near The Guild apartments.
“Leaning In came to me in January 2020,” says Arico. “I had been thinking about how inextricably linked our lives and futures are as inhabitants or guests of this beautiful, green planet. I’m thrilled that Leaning In will be in front of this building that was created to provide homes for families, and especially children.”
The sculpture features a detailed mosaic of tile pieces, stained glass, glass beads, and other colorful and beautifully textured fragments.
Arico explains, “The brown and white, or monochromatic, aspect of this sculpture and the rainbow-colored aspects literally leaning into one another depicts this desire to reach for a unified heart, regardless of apparent difference.”
The six-foot circular patio that surrounds the sculpture allows visitors to interact with the art as they search for items hidden among the thousands of mosaic tiles, such as a glass starfish, handmade bee charm, glass heart, tiny snake, and a shark’s tooth and oyster shells from the North Carolina coast. Arico finished the project with a glow-in-the-dark additive in the grout that causes the sculpture to self-illuminate in the dark.
“This interactive sculpture is a beautiful representation of our vision for MOSAIC—a place where family can be together, alongside art and beauty,” says MOSAIC Developer Kirk Bradley.
During the ceremony, Arico spoke about the positive effect public art has on communities. Chatham Park Co-Developer Bubba Rawl and Bradley echoed her sentiment, speaking about the importance of including public art as part of Chatham Park’s master plan to inspire and establish the development’s identity.
“Some 20 years ago, we started envisioning this project, and this is what we saw,” says Rawl. “Seven years ago, we met with Kirk and shared with him our vision of this first entertainment, retail hub. And he said, ‘Let me go to work.’”
Leaning In is just one art installation throughout MOSAIC and Chatham Park. A large sculpture by local artist Edwin White has already been installed in the MOSAIC entrance roundabout, and the iconic life-size MOSAIC sign near the Philip H. Kohl MOSAIC Family Commons has become a favorite photo spot for visitors.
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