ART @ 2608

When The Community Foundation decided to invest in a space of its own, the Board of Trustees envisioned a building that would become a true community asset—where partners could convene, collaborate and find innovative solutions to community challenges. As plans for the building project took shape, and former president/CEO Peggy O’Shea’s retirement approached, the Board made a commitment to set aside a space at its new location—a kind of garden—to commemorate her service and contributions to the organization. In December 2018, that commitment was fulfilled piece-by-piece, with the installation of an intricate mosaic in a courtyard at The Community Foundation’s 2608 Genesee Street home in Utica.

“This mosaic is a permanent reminder of the key role our staff play in the life of this organization, in service to the community, and recognizes the path that Peggy initiated,” said Eve Van de Wal, chair of the Board of Trustees at the time.

The mosaic brings to life a pictorial representation of our region’s vibrancy—capturing important landmarks and the natural beauty of our communities from the Erie Canal and Mohawk Valley to the foothills of the Adirondacks, including city centers and many points in between.

The one-of-a-kind mosaic was created by Oneida Square Public Art & Design, led by Cathy Marsh and her team of artists. From ideation to creation, the masterpiece took about six weeks to complete, with every individual component laid out by hand.

Oneida Square Public Art & Design—a social enterprise initiative of Oneida Square Project—was established with Community Foundation support in 2015 to revitalize urban neighborhoods through the creation of art and jobs for individuals with barriers to employment. Its artists create environmental streetscape amenities such as mosaic trash receptacles and planters, murals and other pieces that enhance municipalities’ main streets, parks and neighborhoods.

Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida County mosaic in Utica, NY. (PHOTO BY NANCY L. FORD)