Full STEAM Ahead - 2020
Location: Parkside Community Academy, Chicago IL
110 sq ft Broken Tile, Stained Glass and Mirror Mosaic
Zaria V. Gilmore
Parkside Community Academy is one of six Chicago Public Schools to receive district approval to develop a science, technology, engineering, art and math-focused curriculum. The 2020-2021 school year has been an “incubation year” for Parkside to make building improvements and offer professional development before the STEAM curriculum is implemented.
Integrating art with other subjects opens a new world of possibilities for students to be more actively involved and motivated to learn. I designed this piece to align with the vision that Principal Tori Hughes expressed for her new school. This bespoke mosaic artwork definitely highlights the A in STEAM. As part of a commitment to infuse art into the curriculum and into the school’s aesthetic, this 110 square feet mosaic installation now welcomes students, faculty, parents and the community as they enter the main entrance of the building.
The mosaic fabrication was done in tandem with my crew of four assistants. My collaborative art making process exemplifies what is possible when one is allowed to explore their own interests; learn to use tools and materials, both physical and virtual; and develop creative projects.
The twofold intent of this composition is to inspire the next generation of artist, makers, designers and innovators and to transform the school environment into one that celebrates Black excellence. My committed to my work in schools in African American communities is to honor our ancestral legacy by taking ownership of our narrative and creating imagery that reflects our beauty and brilliance.