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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE professor chosen for art project

Mosaic street signs, part of a public art project, are appearing on certain curbs in Fort Worth. Devon Nowlin, SE Campus instructional assistant, designed the mosaic for Chickering Road.  Photo courtesy Dawn Nowlin
Mosaic street signs, part of a public art project, are appearing on certain curbs in Fort Worth. Devon Nowlin, SE Campus instructional assistant, designed the mosaic for Chickering Road. Photo courtesy Dawn Nowlin

By Shelly Williams/se news editor

p9nowlinmosiacsFort Worth streets have become more than plain concrete within the past four years.

Mosaics have decorated curbs as part of a Fort Worth Public Art project. The organization was interested in having artists create original designs for curb-cut street signs, and one SE Campus artist is among those chosen.

After submitting a proposal in 2004 for one of her pieces titled “Green Grass Mosaic,” Devon Nowlin, SE fine arts department instructional assistant, had her piece accepted by the Fort Worth City Council to help decorate Chickering Road and was offered a contract.

“ I was thrilled,” she said. “I knew FWPA liked the proposal, but more people had to approve the design for me to win the commission.”

Nowlin said her piece was a design that referenced nature.

“ Mosaics can be very striking with geometric designs, and I considered that an option. In the past, I have worked with the patterns of nature as a motif in my artwork, so the grass fit in with those ideas at the time,” she said.

Her contract was set to a specific timeline, and she was given a budget to work with as she coordinated with the city to work within the construction deadlines of Chickering Road.

Nowlin received an artist fee and the funds to hire a mosaic studio to fabricate the work.

She also hired a conservator to make recommendations on the long-term care and maintenance of her work.

Nowlin hired Tesserae Mosaic Studios of Plano to help with her creation.

“ When I went to their studio as they completed the first mosaic, I have to admit that tears came to my eyes when I saw it. To see my design come to fruition (four years after the proposal) and it being done so professionally was incredible to me,” she said.

Nowlin wishes she could have worked alongside the studio as the artisans created her design, but, unfortunately, she was unable to do so because she was preparing for her art exhibit and moving into her house at the time.

However, she said she is excited to have her “foot in the door” as a public artist.

“ This was a relatively very small project, but I will continue to submit proposals now that I have the experience,” she said.

“ The next project I will be going for is a design for a 210-square-feet mosaic work for the new Westside Water Treatment Plant in west Fort Worth and a complementary painting in the foyer as large as 10 by 13 feet.”

She said the total budget for this upcoming project is $150,000. Although she thinks it is a long shot, she is going to apply anyway.

For more information about the mosaics, visit www.fwpa.org.

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