One of Marina Papais’ mosaics sits outside the Wellness Clinic on Railway Ave. It was installed last July with the assistance of welder Chris Holloway (left). (L-R): Holloway

Ashcroft asked to support public glass mosaics

Local glass artists have plan to put Ashcroft on the map while having fun.

Ashcroft mosaic artist Marina Papais and her partner Dan Collett are proposing to  add some sparkle and shine to Ashcroft by creating public mosaics.

They made the proposal to Ashcroft Council at the Apr. 27 committee of the whole meeting.

“I propose to rally our community together to create wooden benches and signage to enhance our village,” said Papais, who was requesting a budget for materials and some tools. Approximately $500 would  buy tools that could be used for several projects, and materials for a bench would cost around $400.

Mosaics are an inexpensive and easy, yet beautiful, form of glass art.

“We’re proposing a marriage between wellness and historic Ashcroft,” said Collett.

“The point is to get community members involved,” he said. They would be learning the process of creating a glass mosaic and installing the finished pieces.

Coun. Doreen Lambert asked where they would put a mosaic.

“Anywhere,” said Papais. “That’s the point. It could be the bus stops, open walls of public buildings…”

Papais, a retired Architectural Glass Artist, already has several mosaics on display in Ashcroft – the most public is in front of the Wellness Clinic on Railway Ave.  She also made a series of four panels for St. Albans, and a commissioned piece that is hanging in the UniTea Tea Room.

She told Council that she was inspired to help Ashcroft become known for something other than its historic elements by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser who created Architectural Public Art that everyone could enjoy. She said that people would visit towns and cities to see his artwork. She said she hoped this would inspire other artists in town to create.

“How many people would you like to see involved?” asked Coun. Al Mertens.

“As many as could fit around the table,” said Collett. “The bigger the area, the more people can participate.”

They are still looking for public space to do the work.

He added that their goal is to create community art and get as many people involved as possible – even if it’s only for one day of a 30 day project.

Many people assisted with the piece at the Wellness Centre, said Papais. A metal worker helped attach the metal fixtures that had been donated, and others helped collect the driftwood  that is part of the piece.

“We’ve been doing public art projects for many years and they’ve always been successful and fun,” Collet said.

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