In a Philadelphia, Penn., neighborhood that is often marred by graffiti, members and neighbors of Spirit and Truth Fellowship Christian Reformed Church installed a large colorful mosaic proclaiming “Joy in the City.”
The mosaic, installed on the wall of an old warehouse used by the church for ministry, is made up of small pieces of tile, ceramic, and glass collected by the neighbors.
Designer Michaelanne Harriman, a member of the church, said the art depicts things that bring joy in our lives. The central image is of a young child cooling off in front of an open fire hydrant with water spraying out in all directions, a joyous activity for kids in the inner city.
Harriman is the arts director of Ayuda Community Center, an outreach of the church, where artists and community members work together.
Neighbors gathered on two Saturdays to make the tiles that form the border of the mosaic. Each tile depicts an icon of joy. For example, one depicts a heart saying, “God is love, Dios es Amor.”
After the mosaic was assembled in the studio, it was installed on ministry center’s exterior wall. During final installation, neighbors often came to help, bringing ice water or snacks.
The mosaic has been up for several months and Harriman is thrilled that no vandalism or destruction has occurred.