Commissions / Public Art

“Entangled Bank” – Mural Created for Irvine Valley College’s New Life Science Building

Piece by Piece participant artists, instructors and volunteers recently completed a five-foot by fifteen foot, five panel mural for Irvine Valley College’s new Life Sciences Building. The given theme was “chaos to order.”

Piece by Piece artists work on transferring design to the five 3 ft x 5 ft panels.

Program Director Dawn Mendelson with Piece by Piece artists reviewing materials.

Throughout the process, we had guest artists share their talents. Visiting Artist Matt Doolin, who works with handmade tile and mosaic, worked with our artists to create sculpted shapes and creatures for the “primordial soup”.

 Matt demonstrating
Visiting artist Matt Doolin working with Piece by Piece artists to create clay creatures.

primordial soup
Primordial soup

We received some excellent donations of recycled materials for this project, including rejected pieces from Xiem Clay Center and a local ceramic artist, as well as broken stained glass from various sources.

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We used glaze-testing tubes, both round and square, as elements in the mural.

In the last panel, which had elements representing mankind,
we used tools and other metal parts including springs, a saw blade, gears and keys.

 Throughout the fabrication of this project, our artists worked together to refine the original design conceived by Dawn Mendelson. Each participating artist contributed his or her individual vision and talent. We used all types of materials, requiring us to learn new skills to shape them. In addition to the good old-fashioned hammer and standard nippers, we made use of the excellent new Revolution XT saw received as a very kind donation from Gemini Saw.

juan trying saw
Instructor Leigh Adams worked with Piece by Piece artist Juan,
cutting a section of a ceramic bowl for the mural.

 juan and hugo
Piece by Piece artists Juan and Jose work on panel 2.

working 3
Assistant instructor Bea Jones with Piece by Piece artists Guadalupe and Deborah.

Julie and Guadalupe

Gale and Bea
We are grateful for our fantastic volunteers who also contributed to this mural. Shown: (top) Piece by Piece artist Guadalupe with volunteer Julie Williams. (bottom) Volunteer Gale Sorenson with Assistant Instructor Bea Jones. Not shown: volunteer Mireille Swinnen.

When the mural was complete, it made the journey down to Irvine for installation.

20140314_154304 Lead instructor Luz Mack Durini on installation day.


In March, Piece by Piece was invited to attend the dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting of the new building. Our artists received Certificates of Completion and enjoyed the moment.


small group2


Thank you to the office of the President at Irvine Valley College and the School of Life Sciences and Technology faculty for their kind support!


One thought on ““Entangled Bank” – Mural Created for Irvine Valley College’s New Life Science Building

  1. Pingback: Meet Piece by Piece Volunteer Gale Sorensen | Piece by Piece

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