(1) The Donations

Artists from around the world donated mosaic panels that I would install at the children's center. The mosaics were glued to mesh and left ungrouted. The panels were taped to rigid cardboard and mailed to me for later installation.

I received donations from all over the United States and from places as far away as the United Kingdom and St. Lucia. Thanks to the diligent preparations made by each artist, all donations arrived without damage.

Here are some photos of the ungrouted donations as I received them.

She's Got Legs...
© Anne Briggs

© Barb Frizzell

A small contribution
© Ilona Bryan

Donation for Eve's Project
© Linda Biggers

mosaic fish
© Lisa Stevens

Donation for Eve's project
© Sharon Haddock & Lisa Stevens

(2) Installation, Part One

A few days before I planned to begin the installation, I laid the mosaics out on the floor to see which pieces I would group together. Then I gathered my supplies and sketched out a draft of where the mosaics would be placed once I got to the facility.

Here are some of the initial groupings...

Anne Briggs, Patricia Rockwood, Sharon Haddock/Lisa Stevens

Pat Mitchell, Ilona Bryan, Valerie Hornby

Eve Lynch

The newly painted concrete walls made for a perfect canvas. There was virtually no surface preparation to do. I simply brushed the dust off the wall with a small broom and got to work.

I prepped my mastic and began by lightly coating the surface of the wall where each panel was to be placed. I also "buttered" the backs of most of the panels paying special attention to the mosaic's edges and then lightly pushed each panel into place using a wide grout float.

The mastic had a "life" of about 2 hours after being mixed and I managed to squeak another two out of it thanks to the Florida humidity. Everything was left to dry overnight.
Here are all of the photos from the first day...

"Linda Lane" - the corridor between the two buildings

One of the walls prior to installation.
My teenage "apprentice" on the mosaic stepping stone footpath.
Checking placement on one of the mosaic panels by artist Patricia Rockwood.
The first panels that I installed. Artists Patricia Rockwood, Sharon Haddock/Lisa Stevens, Anne Briggs.
Another view of the first panels I installed along with a tiki hut birdhouse on the wall.
Another perspective of the 3 panels. Artists: Patricia Rockwood, Sharon Haddock/Lisa Stevens, Anne Briggs.
Installed mosaics on the Pre-K building wall.
Installing artist Linda Smith's 3 mosaic panels.
Artist Linda Smith's 3 mosaic panels next to the play area.

Another view of artist Linda Smith's 3 mosaic panels. Very 3D!
Artist Barb Frizzell's 4 mosaic panels outside the Pre-K door.
Four mosaic panels on the Pre-K building wall. Artists: Pat Mitchell, Ilona Bryan, Valerie Hornby & Marita Schauerte
Installing my "Invader" style alien mosaic under the Pre-K window. Artist: Eve Lynch

Installing my Invader mosaic. Artist Eve Lynch.
Applying the mastic and pressing the Invader mosaic onto the wall.
My Invader style mosaic at the end of Day 1. Artist: Eve Lynch.

(3) Installation, Parts Two & Three

Installation Day 2 was canceled due to a severe weather alert. Heavy rain and a possible tornado was forecast and I didn't want to take any chances of the mosaic work getting ruined so I preempted the installation by one day.

I stopped in at the center to lay plastic over the panels that were already installed just to be sure that any water didn't seep under the ungrouted mosaics.

Artwork being covered with plastic sheeting to prevent rain from seeping underneath the tiles.

Artwork under plastic sheeting. 

* * *

Installation Day 3 was a success. I attached the remaining mosaic panels to the walls and left everything to dry.

Here are all of the photos taken that day...

Using a grout float to press artist Rita Schelin's mosaic panel into the mastic.

Pressing the panel lightly into the mastic.

Artwork by: Rita Schelin
Artist Rita Schelin's mosaic panel.
Installing one of my small Invader style mosaics outside a classroom window.
My Invader mosaic installed outside the Pre-K classroom window.
Installing my large Invader mosaic on a playground wall.
Pressing the Invader mosaic into the mastic with a grout float.

My "hidden" Invader mosaic on a back wall closest to the playground.
My Invader mosaic on the back playground wall.

I intentionally installed my largest Invader mosaic on a wall all the way at the back of "Linda Lane". It's sort of hidden but is really hiding in plain sight.

Artist Linda Biggers & Chrisse Hartley's mosaic panels on a sun drenched wall.
Some of the mosaic stepping stones that the children made with the teachers.

(4) Grouting Day One

After all of the mosaic panels were installed and left to cure for a while, I went back to the center to begin the grouting process.

Grouting the mosaic work was the most time consuming part of the installation. Many of the donated artworks had a three dimensional quality to them and grouting them was a slow process.

I used a tiny rubber tool to push the grout into the spaces between the glass/tile and to seal the edges of each piece. Almost all of the panels were grouted with a light gray grout that I mixed on site.

The Bald Eagle mosaic after being grouted. Artist: Marita Schauerte (Germany)

Two mosaic panels after grouting. Artists: Ilona Bryan, Valerie Hornby

After grouting. Artist: Pat Mitchell, Ilona Bryan

Pat Mitchell, Ilona Bryan, Valerie Hornby

Artist Valerie Hornby's adorable rubber duck mosaic. Made with iridescent tiles!

Artist: Lola Davis, 7 years old!

Artist: Debs McGlaughlin

Artist: Silva Hayes

Completed grouping after being grouted.

Another view of the completed grouting. You can still see some grout haze on the concrete wall.

Artist: Barb Frizzell - These panels were grouted with a pre-mixed off white grout.

Artist: Rita Schelin - This piece was grouted with black grout.

Artist Rita Schelin's mosaic outside a classroom door.

After grouting all of the mosaics on the main wall, I gave them all a few wipes with the sponge and left them sit to cure.