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CoExist in Kindness mosaic mural project aims to bring unity and beauty to Steelton

Participants are encouraged to submit fused or blown glass items that can be found in a garden.

STEELTON, Pa. — The CoExist Gallary in Steelton will have a mosaic mural on its building this summer.

The CoExist in Kindness Mural Project will feature artwork from community members and artists around the world. Participants are encouraged to submit fused or blown glass items that can be found in a garden.

“We want to bring the community together and provide a sense of ownership,” said Shawn Gold,”  owner of CoExist.

Gold said while on vacation this December and visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, public mosaics caught his attention. He then tracked down Natasha Moraga, a local mosaic artist, who creates art that is meant to be accessible to be the community. 

Moraga’s goal is to improve dilapidated public areas and create artwork — funded by sponsors —  that appeals to the residents and tourists in the area 

Carrie Strope, an artist and organizer for the mural project, invited Gold to the Society of American Mosaic Artists annual conference. During a virtual after-hours chat, people were discussing mosaics and thought Gold should discuss his collaboration with Moraga.

“I got off and went to bed and you know, I just couldn’t help but think, man, I have this huge building in Steelton and I could create my own mosaic,” said Gold.

The next morning, Gold’s creative wheels began turning. He started making calls to bring this public mosaic art approach to Steelton.

“It just has went landslide from there to happening,” said Gold.

Strope said if everybody in the community is working on the same project, connections and conversations began happening with different groups of people.

“I think when your working on community projects collaborations, really what you want is to build connections within the community,” said Strope. “You want to bring people together.”

The CoExist in Kindness mosaic will cover three sides of the building. The mural will also include a piece of steel from the Golden Gate Bridge. The Cleveland-Cliffs, a mining company, gifted the piece of steel, according to Gold.

Credit: Carrie Strope
Credit: Carrie Strope

Participants must submit their designs by July 1.

The project is expected to be completed by late August. 

For submission guidelines on flowers on mosaic mesh, check out the Calyx Glass website.

See the YouTube video below as Strope discusses qualifications for submitting to the project and how the artwork will be organized on the CoExist Gallery’s wall.