Thousands of Rosemounters' tiles to create community mosaic

  • Article by: LIZ ROLFSMEIER , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 21, 2014 - 4:53 PM

During “One Tile One Rosemount” events this month, residents can help create a mosaic.

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The Paul Holland Band, featuring Deb Brown, will perform at the first annual Art Blast in Rosemount.

Photo: Photo courtesy of Paul Holland Band,

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Artist Carly Schmitt has seen people get pretty creative within tiny spaces.

When she worked on a community mosaic project in her hometown of Vadnais Heights, Schmitt asked members of the community to personalize individual tiles, and they responded with intricate miniature drawings of their homes, pets or jobs.

“It is sometimes really amazing to see what people manage to fit on a one-inch square tile,” she said.

During Rosemount’s Art Blast, members of the south metro community will begin working on their own mural designed by Schmitt.

During “One Tile One Rosemount” events on June 24 and 26 at the town’s central park, residents can decorate wood tiles for an eight-by-eight-foot mosaic to be displayed on a wall of the Robert Trail Library.

Tile-signing is just one example of the over 40 different activities taking place June 23-29, during the first annual Art Blast, a weeklong “explosion of art,” as described by organizer Jim Kotz.

Each of 9,200 tiles will be painted with “an individual complimentary color just a little different from the background paint,” said event organizer Jeanne Schwartz.

The tiles will be assembled into an image of the Mississippi River as viewed from Spring Lake Park Reserve.

According to Schmitt, “Up close you can see each of the individual community member contributions, but from a distance, those individual marks fade into a larger community portrait.

Schwartz added: “It’s kind of symbolic of being part of a greater whole.”

The collaborative art project seems fitting for a community that in 2007 pulled together to start the Rosemount Area Arts Council and since then has renovated the former St. Joseph’s church into the Steeple Center, a vibrant arts center with a full calendar of film festivals, art classes and exhibits, and performing arts shows.

Events for the new Art Blast festival will take place primarily at the Steeple Center and the Central Park amphitheater, but also at the library and other places throughout the community.

“It’s basically a weeklong event celebrating the arts, celebrating summer,” said Kotz, who chairs the arts council.

The organization scheduled a diverse lineup, with classes on memoir writing, comic art, and cellphone photography.

There are workshops on watercolor and acrylic painting, silk scarf dyeing, mosaic making, basket weaving and creating with duct tape.

Daytime events include children’s activities such as balloon art, face painting, and author events with area children’s book authors Nancy Nolan and Chuck Brooks.

During the week, people can view a metal sculpture exhibit, a Sumi-e (Asian brush painting) exhibit and a photography contest display.

Evening entertainment includes dance performances, shows by the Backyard Bunch Children’s Theatre, comedy by “Pizpor” the magician, and a production of “A Penny Saved,” put on by the Front Porch Players. The Moses Oakland Quintet (blues) and the Paul Holland band and Deb Brown (rock, blues) will also provide entertainment.

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  • Artist Carly Schmitt will lead the community mosaic project planned for Rosemount’s Art Blast. “It is sometimes really amazing to see what people manage to fit on a one-inch square tile,” Schmitt said.

  • rosemount tiles

    What: Personalize one of the 9,200 1-inch-by-1-inch wood tiles that will be used to create a 8-foot-by-8-foot mural commemorating Rosemount’s first settlers.

    When: June 24 and 26, 6-8 p.m.

    Where: Central Park, 2893 145th St. W., Rosemount

    More information: www.rosemountarts.com. Or, on Facebook, search for Rosemount Art Blast. Call 612-272-0997 or 612-670-8939. Registration required for some activities.

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