It’s been years since Phoenix artist Tammi Lynch-Forrest started toying with the idea of launching an international mosaic tile project. Now, she’s off and running, looking at possible locations.
She’s already gathered mosaic tile artworks from people around the U.S. and several other countries – including Australia, Germany, Israel, Latvia, and Scotland.
Lynch-Forrest calls it the Human Mosaic Project. It’s designed to bring people together and reflect a spirit of unity.
She’d hoped to install the mosaic tile artworks along the front of Bragg’s Pie Factory, a historical building on Grand Avenue owned by artist and preservation activist Beatrice Moore.
But that won’t work, Moore says. She’s got several tenants there, including a hair salon, letterpress printing studio, and tattoo shop. And not everyone likes the idea of covering the front of that building with mosaic tiles.
“That front wall is storefronts, and people have their own aesthetics,” Moore says.
Instead, she’s offered Lynch-Forrest the building’s back wall. “It’s actually longer than the front wall, and I think the project would look great there,” Moore says.
Lynch-Forrest hasn’t decided which way to go with it at this point.
She’s concerned that there isn’t much traffic along that side of Bragg’s Pie Factory, which means the mosaic tiles won’t be as visible to people passing through the area.
But she hasn’t ruled it out.
“I already talked with the artist who did the mural of the two-headed bird, about re-creating her design with mosaic tiles,” Lynch-Forrest says.
It’s been several years since Jenny Ignaszewski (a.k.a. Iggy) painted her “I Like You” mural on Bragg’s Pie Factory, but the piece has never lost its charm.
It’s one of many artworks located along Grand Avenue, where there’s an intriguing mix of historic buildings and art venues. Most noticeable is an anti-Trump billboard, commissioned by Moore and created by California artist Karen Fiorito.
For years, Moore has infused the area with street art – including a hanging garden of planters, stuffed animals, and other objects located above a sidewalk that runs in front of Bragg’s Pie Factory.
“I think the mosaics would be great,” Moore says. “It would be nice to have something that’s not painted.”
Three planters Lynch-Forrest decorated with mosaics sit in front of Grand Avenue Pizza Company. They’re part of a larger project, which features artist-decorated planters along Grand Avenue. “I love mosaic work, and her planters are beautiful,” Moore says.
Lynch-Forrest is still deciding whether the back wall of Bragg’s would be a good fit. In the meantime, she’s busy connecting with artists in and beyond Arizona, inviting them to send work for the collaborative installation.
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The installation will feature circular artworks in various sizes. But she's accepted other mosaic artworks as well, then incorporated them into collaborative circular pieces.
So far she’s gathered about 50 artworks, all with the nature theme she selected for the installation.
“I chose nature because it’s light and positive,” Lynch-Forrest says. “I wanted to create something everyone can appreciate and enjoy.”