With its undulating lines and vibrant colors, the mosaic mural at Ebinger Elementary School creates a dramatic visual for anyone who walks through the school’s main doors. Created by local artist Chris Zonta, the mural was inspired by the work of Fredriech Hundertwasser and includes the artistic touch of all 744 students in grades Pre-K-8.
Titled “City of Dreams,” this 16 x 4 ft. mural is the latest in a series of mosaics located throughout the Edison Park elementary school.
“We have mosaics in various entryways and in our auditorium,” said Ebinger principal Serena Peterson. “They are part of the mosaic and fine arts tradition that has been in place at Ebinger for many years.”
A fine arts magnet school, Ebinger was able to employ a full-time art teacher for all students last year thanks to the implementation of the Full School Day. The creation of the mural took over two months, supplementing student art instruction in the final quarter of the 2012-13 school year.
“It was wonderful for our students to be taught by a real artist,” said Principal Peterson. “Chris Zonta did a wonderful job with them, and it was clear that the project was very close to her heart.”
Zonta, who started out as a textile artist before shifting to mosaics in 1995, lived in Edison Park for nearly three decades and had a son who graduated from Ebinger.
“I was eager to do something special for my son’s former school,” said Zonta. “This was a real hands-on experience for the students, and not something they would typically be able to accomplish in an art class.”
Zonta began by explaining the concept of mosaic art (combining bits of colored tile and glass to form a picture) and educating the students on the life and work of Fredriech Hundertwasser, the artist who inspired the mural’s design. After completing several individual projects, the students began work on the mural, with the older children learning to create shapes using tile and glass cutters.
“The work is abstract and modern, with something of an urban feel,” said Principal Peterson, who officially dedicated the mural in a ceremony on September 9. “The sunflowers are striking, as are the raindrops coming down and the large pairs of eyes. It’s a powerful image for our students and parents to see every day as they come into school.”