PHOENIX, AZ — The Paradise Valley Community College or PVCC recently revealed a new ceramic tile art display on its main campus after nearly two years of work. They were two-by-six-foot mosaic-tile panels fastened to the southeast side of Building G, representing the college’s seven core values, which are integrity, diversity, innovation, partnerships, excellence, sustainability and learning.
This new art display is a result of a discourse between the PVCC President Dr. Paul Dale and Art Professor David Bradley about creating a piece of art for the campus that represented the college’s seven core values. Bradley brought on guest artist Kimberly Harris while promoting the project throughout campus to help facilitate the project. At least a dozen volunteers participated and started meeting weekly for months in order to create a visualization through sketches and then full-size drawings.
Bradley stated, “It was a tricky process having to take into consideration shrinkage of the clay and color variations for the tiles through glazing and re-firing, amongst other things.” He also added that once he came to an agreement on what each panel would look like, they began fabricating the parts for each.
Every Friday through Fall 2019, the team worked relentlessly to create the design and piece together the donated tile. Each panel consists of a plywood backing with a waterproof coating, mortared and attached, then placed inside a metal frame, designed by Harris and fabricated at a local metal shop. Bradley said that they were ready last spring but had to cancel it because of COVID-19.
Under Bradley’s supervision, a minor group of students reunited to assemble the panels in Fall 2020 and it took about seven weeks. Finally, the artwork was mounted for display last month. Bradley expressed his excitement, claiming that it was quite a different experience seeing them mounted and it was beautiful.
Together, Dale and Bradley intend to continue collaborating for additional pieces of art around campus. Bradley is hopeful that it will gain more interest from people who have seen the art display to participate in future projects. He claimed that it’s a real privilege for him to be able to contribute to the campus. He was also involved with other projects on display in the campus, including the horse sculpture in front of CPA, the ceramic totems and the ceramic murals outside of the M studio.
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