Mosaic treasures leave Bell Buckle for their new homes
SAMA’s Sherri Warner Hunter held an open house on Sept.17 at SWH Art Studio Inc. in Bell Buckle, TN. The occasion was the completion of three, large, commissioned projects, after two years of hard work. She thanked her numerous assistants, interns, Hi-Tech Fab, Cataldo Auto Repair (who helps move her heavy sculptures), and her husband (and best friend!) Martin Hunter.
The sculptures include:
- A life-size “tree” with ladybugs and wildlife representing the seasons of the year will populate the Fletcher Creek Park in Memphis, TN. Children from a neighboring school used the park’s ecosystem as inspiration for the mosaics. Hunter believes this participation gives the community a sense of ownership. The project will include life-size animal statues surrounding the tree.
- Abe’s Garden is a well-known Alzheimer’s disease care center in Nashville, TN. Hunter and seniors in a nearby facility developed the concept.
- Pieces for a large, seashore-themed playground are destined for a California children’s hospital (name undisclosed). The project called Starfish Cove, will feature a giant starfish on top of a cave which children will explore to find the inside covered with mosaics based on hospital patients’ seashore drawings. There are tile-covered “rocking shrimp” and a tile elephant statue slide. Hunter describes how every small piece of tile is hand-sanded on each side to remove sharp edges to insure safety for children. The playground’s “water” will be made of poured rubber and safe to play on.
Hunter loves to receive input from the communities where her art is installed. “I could never work on projects this large as an independent artist,” she said. “These commissions have stretched me in new directions. It’s my legacy, but I enjoy the process of including others in that legacy.”