Been to Maud’s Café recently? If so, you’ve probably seen the newest art installation at Artspace. Embracing the Vision of Community is a mural that was recently installed on the east wall of Artspace Greenery in November 2019, culminating a 2-year project led by longtime Artspace tenant, Bad Dog Arts.

Bad Dog Arts’ main purpose it to provide accessible and hands-on experiences that introduces young people to the vast possibilities in life through the arts. This project was a prime example of this significant mission.

After receiving a prestigious grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bad Dog Arts collaborated with Volunteers of America (VOA), Utah and Artspace to create a mural that reflects the spirit of the community in the Granary District. To learn more about the experiences of our neighbors and the clients at Volunteers of America, Bad Dog Arts taught a number of art classes, including photography, to the clients at the VOA Youth Resource Center and engaged in dialogue with the teens and young adults at the center. They also conducted focus groups to gather information from community members. Then Bad Dog Arts' own Teen Studio Program got to work incorporating this feedback into a mural design.

The studio teens presented drafts of their work to a team of Volunteers of America, Utah and Artspace staff and made adjustments to the design based on further feedback. With final finishing touches coming from professional artists and Bad Dog Arts co-founders, Michael Moonbird and Victoria Lyons, the mural design was ready to go into the production phase.

This mural is probably not like other murals you’ve seen. Instead of being painted directly on the wall, it’s made of hand glazed tiles. This is an intensive process where the design is transferred to 12”x 12” porcelain tiles, hand glazed, then fired in a kiln. The final product is a beautiful, shiny (and graffiti-proof!) mural which was then professionally installed on the wall.

We hope you stop by to see the mural for yourself. Grab a cup of coffee from Maud’s Café, then step outside to take a look. We hope you love exploring the details of the mural and thinking about how it reflects this area of ours. From the city skyline, to the thistle (a symbol of resilience and the Maud’s Café emblem), to the vast night sky, we think this mural is a beautiful reflection of our growing community.

If you stop by the mural, snap a photo in front of it and let us know what you think by tagging @artspace_utah.

Embracing the Vision of Community, 2019
11’ x 10’ Mural
Kiln-fired glazed porcelain tiles

Artists include:
Sylviane Bahati, Mareya Franco, Iman Ibrahim, Sanjar Kushaliev, Victoria Lyons, Michael Moonbird and April Norby

Created by Bad Dog Arts, in partnership with Volunteers of America, Utah, and Artspace