Borrego Sun - Since 1949

The Mural is Underway


Last updated 7/2/2018 at 9:50am

A eye-popping mural 28 feet wide and 8 feet high, consisting of individual raised panels of ceramic tile and glass in steel frames, is scheduled to be finished and mounted on the south wall of BAI by March of 2019, according to The Pottery's director-potter Ginger Dunlap-Deitz. "It's an expression of clay in action," she says.

The $20,000 project is a result of fundraising efforts by local potter Jack Sims, and Deitz, to secure a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and obtain matching funds from Borregans. Deitz received a time extension from NEA to complete the mural by April 2019.

The hands of 40 individual artists are contributing to the ceramic and glass mural panels, and Jim Wermers donated the workspace in the Mall for assembling it.

Surrounding the mural perimeter will be 4"x4" community tiles crafted by 50-100 local potters over the years, made possible by prior financial support to BAI from Leslie Duncan. Many of the tiles have been in long-term storage and convey distinctive individual character. Elementary school 4th graders contributed critical color under-glazing.

Separate ceramic or glass themes are present in each of the cement-backboard and steel-framed panels. And because of the varied texture of the individually glazed and fired pieces, a new invention called "The Groutenator" is being used to carefully and precisely inject grout between the tiles after the tiles are set.

One finished panel depicts elements of our Borrego Film Festival; see if you can spot the now immortalized Fred Jee in the piece. Names of all the films shot in the Borrego Valley (thus far) are also included.

Another panel will include a small section of mosaic glass tile replicating the signature of artist Nancy Nielsen Colbart at the base of her large mosaic on the west side of The Mall.

The Mural is in pieces now, but residents and tourists alike will soon be able to admire, and continue to admire far into the future, what will surely be a truly remarkable work of art crafted entirely by Borregan potters.

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