In the new entrance to PS14X, the Senator John Calandra School in the Bronx, Sandy Litchfield’s The Tree Inside Me fills the white lobby with color and story. Representing an urban garden oasis and a haven in which children can learn and grow, this 28×18-foot mosaic mural incorporates images of nature and the colors of the seasons.

“The best part of this project was getting to know the community, especially the art teacher, Kerry Silva, and the fourth-grade students we worked with,” says Litchfield, who led 15 workshops with students about the mural’s themes and formal artistic concerns like color, value, and scale. “The students were so full of enthusiasm. They loved color and painting and thinking about what kind of world they could make in their imaginations.”

The mural was commissioned by the New York City School Construction Authority, Public Art for Public Schools, and the New York City Department of Education. Litchfield consulted and collaborated with Franz Mayer of Munich on fabrication.

The lower portion of The Tree Inside Me includes a touchable mix of glazed porcelain tile and glass mosaic fabricated by Mayer Studios. Litchfield made the upper portion, which consists of hand-cut and painted aluminum composite panels.

Written by staff of Public Art Review.

Public Art Review issue 59Featured in the Projects We Love section of Public Art Review #59.