Community chips in to create murals in Carmel


Carmel mosaic artist Nancy Keating is amazed at the interest her community mosaic mural projects attracted.

“It was nuts,” Keating said. “We had hundreds and hundreds. We had a family from Warsaw who came for the event after seeing it on Facebook.”

Keating worked on the event with the community in five-hour sessions during the Meet Me on Main events July 9 and Aug. 13 in the Carmel Arts & Design District. The City of Carmel commissions Keating to create the murals.

“The city set up a couple tents and tables,” she said. “With a play on words, people chip in and help create the mosaic mural.”

Approximately 12 people could work on it at a time. The mural features mosaic mandalas, a popular art design.

“There were sections for children with no sharp edges and sections for adults that might have some sharp pieces of glass,” she said.

Keating works on the mural before the community project, drawing out the design and then painting. See-through mesh is then applied on top of it. Keating said it serves as a map for where the colors are to be placed. She will then finish up the piece, which is in four sections.

“It is important to make beautiful art installations part of our public spaces so that they can be enjoyed by all,” said Nancy Heck, director of community relations and economic development for the City of Carmel. “The intense color and sparkle of these glass mosaics attract attention and brighten up the landscape. Using one of our local artists to engage our community in an art project further enhances the experience. People who have participated in the making of the piece can walk by that art and know they had a part in it, which makes it that much more enjoyable.”

Keating said the community mosaic project of butterfly wings created last year is not yet up.

“We’re hoping it will be up along the Monon Trail. We’re working on that,” she said. “We’re trying to find a dynamite location for it.”

The 7-foot wide butterfly wings are designed to encourage people to take photos of themselves with the art.

“There are two existing murals up from previous years’ events in the archways to Sophia Square courtyard,” Keating said.