The other day I came across an interesting mosaic of which the picture below is just one part. There is a plaque beside it which says “Seen at a disance the mosaic reveals a crowd of people sheering and clapping, people of all backgrounds, which is the unique mix of Toronto. Up close, the images dissolve into abstract patterns of colour and light.”.
The mural is called ‘A Small Piece of Something Larger’ and it was designed by Stephen Andrews and fabricated in Montreal by Mosaika Art. It is made of smalti (hand cut mosaic glass), gold tiles and hand glazed ceramic tiles.
I’d love to show you a picture of the whole thing but I can’t. The piece is located in the taxi drop off and valet parking area of the Trump International Hotel. I dodged cars while I took these photos. The wall that it is on looks cheap, especially with the dreary doorway that cuts into the mosaic. Another strike against this piece is the very yellow nature of the lighting in this space. I played with the colour balance on the photo below to try to capture the true colour of the artwork.
It really deserves a better location.
It is above the entrance to the Bell Canada Building at 76 Adelaide West. Five panels, each twenty feet tall and five feet high, of glass mosaic tile are embedded in the cement of the building. It was designed by York Wilson and installed in 1965 when the building was constructed.
The theme of the piece is communication and each panel represents a different form of communication. From left to right: writing, drawing, music, voice, and satellites.
Staying on Adelaide, walk east again but continue to Yonge Street. Here you can find another hidden, almost secret, mosaic that many people have walked past and never seen. Find the silly little entrance way to what is called the Dynamic Funds Tower on the SE corner of Yonge and Adelaide. Stand outside the entrance but don’t go in. Now look up.
Three very different mosaics all within a few steps of each other.
….and there’s one last stop on our mosaic tour. It’s not a mosaic but looking at Stephen Andrews’ work at the Trump Hotel reminded me of a sculpture. If you walk down Yonge Street, just south of the railway tracks you’ll find a bronze ‘Immigrant Family’ by Tom Otterness.
With a shoutout to Penny at Walking Woman since it was because of her blog post that I learned about the Otterness sculpture.