Nat Moraga's El Parque de los Azulejos

Leading Community Mosaics with Natasha Moraga and Carrie Strope

CoExist In Kindness Mosaic Project, mosaic, Workshop

Leading Community Mosaics
August 17-21, 2021
Steelton, PA

Some experience with mosaics is helpful, but not necessary; all skill levels are welcome!

Nat Moraga’s “El Parque de los Azulejos” in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

In this 5 day workshop, learn the methods that Natasha Moraga uses for creating mosaics in her Tile Park “El Parque de los Azulejos” in Puerto Vallarta, as well as considerations for creating elements in advance to incorporate into your community mosaic. Learn how large-scale mosaics come together from brainstorming and design, materials acquisitions and selection, putting together a press release and organizing a culminating reception, leading a team of inexperienced hands, and methods for teaching tools and techniques to both adults and children.

Workshop participants in Nat’s three day workshops in Puerto Vallarta.

While brainstorming and discussing ideas for themes, we will begin by making components for the wall on mesh while we learn about how this mosaic came to be and design considerations of the commission and how a theme was chosen. Some of the components will be incorporated into your section of the wall, and some will go home with you to inspire your next installation.

Participants at Lincoln Maker Fair design and build a mosaic on mesh.

After sketching the design for your section of the wall, we will begin laying tile, mirror and glass and then working with community members, you’ll have your own team to lead in completing your portion of the wall. (We will work with you in leading the teams, so you won’t be alone!)

After the workshop, you are welcome to stay and continue working on the project and continue to practice leading small groups through the process while building your confidence in leading your own community mosaics.  We have a projected finish date of August 29-30.

Workshop participant leading community members in learning how to cut glass for the mosaic.

We will be working mainly outdoors and will have some tents for shade and rest, but you may want to bring a hat or sunscreen depending on weather.

Workshop participants finishing up a successful installation at the Tile Park!

What You Will Learn:

  • steps for facilitating a mosaic mural from start to finish
  • how to sketch out a cartoon and translate that to your substrate
  • how to cut glass, mirror and ceramic tiles
  • how to lead a group through a collaborative installation
  • materials sourcing, creating a budget and timeline
  • ideas for fundraising and budgeting tips, and finding a wall
  • considerations for proper substrate prep- how to economically mix your own grout from cement, sand and colorant (Learn a recipe for making your own cement grout that becomes just as structural as adhesive.)

Our host, Shawn Gold is famous for his hospitality and will be making sure we’re well fed with lunches, snacks, some libations and a couple dinners included. Make sure to let us know if you have any dietary restrictions, so we can plan for those.

Natasha Moraga‘s workshops are normally 3 day affairs in Puerto Vallarta, where students are led through the process of creating a mosaic on a public bench, table or pillar. She trained with Isaiah Zagar of Philadelphia Magic Gardens fame, and blossomed that technique into what is becoming a mosaic mural city of Puerto Vallarta.

Carrie Strope specializes in working with students K-12 from design to completion of collaborative projects that adorn their schools. She is a certified Integrated Learning Specialist on the roster of teaching artists for the Nebraska Arts Council Artists in Schools & Communities.

CoExist Gallery has a torchworking studio where students will get to see demonstrations of how some of the items that have been sent to us by flameworkers were created.