MORE MOSAICS IN LONDON'S OLD EAST VILLAGE
The combination of London Clay Art Centre's (LCAC) Canada 150 mosaic, wayfinding, and gateway mosaics are making Old East Village a destination of interest for tourists and the local community alike.
In 2017, our Canada 150 mosaic captured the attention of the community and engaged 650 local individuals in its making. Eager to maintain that momentum and level of participation, our volunteer team entered another mosaic project into the City of London's Neighbourhood Decision Making program. Of 149 ideas on the ballot, we won the most votes for Central London, in which LCAC is located. Local artists Susan Day and Beth Turnbull Morrish were hired again to fulfill the work by engaging the community to create unique clay tiles for the 2 wayfinding mosaics, both around the corner from LCAC.
We work closely with and strongly support the revitalization efforts of the Old East Village Business Improvement Area (OEV BIA). They helped us find and purchase our building in 2008. In 2017-18, we partnered with them to conceive the Wayfinding Mosaic Project and identify appropriate buildings on which to install them in the OEV. The project includes large-scale mosaics at:
Elizabeth Street Wayfinding Mosaic
Like each of LCAC's mosaics in Old East Village, this installation on the east face of the building at Dundas and Elizabeth Streets features amazing lettering created by accomplished ceramic artist, Beth Turnbull Morrish. Using a custom die, Beth developed a method of extruding clay which she later shaped into various letter designs. The exploration of fonts and writing styles has been a constant in Beth's work since her time as a student at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.
Marshall Street Wayfinding Mosaic
This mosaic is larger than was the original idea! The expansive wall simply had to be fully covered in tiles so the team got to work both making thousands of pieces by hand and gathering commercial tiles to break into pieces for infill areas. Students registered for workshops to make tiles and subsequently learn how to install them. During the sweltering days of August 2018, this mosaic was painstakingly installed and grouted over several weeks.
But the story doesn't end there! In May 2019, a car crashed through the wall destroying part of the mosaic. Luckily, no one was hurt. Eventually, the wall was rebuilt using funds from an insurance claim made by the building's owner. Susan Day was re-hired to fix the damaged section of the mosaic as can be seen in the photo below on the right. You wouldn't know its strange history unless you look closely enough to see the slightly different coloured grout in the repaired area.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of William Holder and the following: