Poppies and Lupine Mosaic Mural Installed in LA Family Housing's Newest Veteran Housing
A vibrant mosaic mural has been installed in the courtyard of the newly constructed My Angel apartments by L.A. Family Housing The space is designated for veterans and individuals transitioning out of homelessness. This project is a testament to the power of art in transforming spaces and lives. It was brought to life by the dedicated artists of Piece by Piece, a nonprofit organization known for its commitment to providing art opportunities to underserved communities.
The mural, a ten-foot by eleven-foot masterpiece, draws inspiration from the picturesque hills and poppy fields of California. Crafted from an eclectic mix of recycled ceramics and stained glass, it stands as a symbol of resilience and beauty, echoing the organization's ethos of finding value in the overlooked and discarded. Artistic Director Dawn Mendelson shared her thoughts on the project, stating, "Seeing beauty in the broken and discarded materials is meaningful in several ways. It's sustainable, sparks creativity, and each piece tells a story. It's like a treasure hunt, finding the perfect shard to bring our poppies and hills to life."
Under the leadership of Dawn and Lead Instructor Luz Mack, the Piece by Piece team embarked on an eight-month journey from conception to installation. The project was a collaborative effort, featuring the talents of artists Andrea, Ricardo, Victor, Norma, Luz Mack, Ninive, Jose, Dawn Mendelson, Vicki, Margarita, John, Hilda , Jonathan. and June. For Andrea, John V., Ricardo, and Margarita, this was their first foray into a large-scale project, an opportunity to grow as artists and hone their mosaic skills.
Luz Mack reflected on the experience, saying, "Our team, both seasoned artists and newcomers, were thrilled to bring these vibrant poppies and native Californian flowers to life. The project was a kaleidoscope of color and creativity, making our workspace a place of joy and inspiration."
The creation of this mural involved meticulous planning and resourcefulness, with the Piece by Piece team scouring thrift shops for ceramics in the vivid hues needed for the floral designs, alongside utilizing their extensive catalog of materials. This dedication to sustainability and artistic expression made the workspace a bright and happy environment, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose among the artists.
This mural is more than just an artistic endeavor; it offers a soothing and serene space for the residents of the My Angel apartments. The land, generously donated by Hal Kassner, now serves as a sanctuary for those it houses, with the mural providing a calming and beautiful backdrop to their new beginnings. Hal Kassner, is a veteran and owner and founder of Angel Appliances, which operated on the site for 50 years.
Piece by Piece's collaboration with L.A. Family Housing for this project underscores a shared commitment to supporting individuals in transforming their lives through art. Over the past two years, Piece by Piece has expanded its work with veterans, including designing a new mural for LA Metro Art and providing mosaic workshops through a grant from the NEA specifically for veterans. These initiatives highlight the organization's dedication to using art as a tool for healing, empowerment, and community building.
The My Angel apartments mural showcases the power of collaboration, creativity, and compassion. While the mural itself is installed in a private space, its impact resonates far beyond, symbolizing hope, transformation, and the enduring beauty of the human spirit. To see more photos of the installation and the finished mosaic, visit the Piece by Piece website and witness the beauty that arises when communities come together to create something truly meaningful.