With a great playground, tree-lined walkways and a bandshell, Norcross residents may ask themselves how Thasher Park could get much better. A colorful mosaic art piece designed by Norcross artist Anne Labaire and produced by Johns Creek artist Jennifer Freeman could be the answer to that question.
After a two year collaboration, on Dec. 6th the Norcross City Council gave final approval for the mosiac project in Thrasher Park. The project will take about two to three months to complete.
Several years ago the City of Norcross announced its plan to build or renovate five parks within the city, each with a space designated for an art display. The Norcross Arts Alliance searched for two years for the perfect art design for Thrasher Park.
After many weather-resistent projects were considered, the mosaic was chosen, which will be in an existing 22-foot circle adjacent to the playground. The mosaic itself will be 11 feet in diameter and framed by brick.
Anne Labaire, who displays at the Kudzu Art Zone, said that when she had Arts Alliance and City Council members in her studio to discuss the options, they would would point to her painting called Inspiration and say, "I want that for the park." After hearing that same comment a number of times, Labaire reached the conclusion that she could adapt her 40-inch by 20-inch painting into an 11-foot circle. The rest is artistry in the making.
The painting is filled with rich colors and centrally focused on heart-laden guitar. The guitar is surrounded by sun and stars, trees and birds. The only adaptation that needed to be made from the original work was changing a martini glass into a more family friendly glass of lemonade. Anne describes the work as "green, colorful and musical, without being iconic."
Jennifer Freeman, who will create the work in the park, is a local artist who remembers visiting historic downtowns as a girl, loving the markets, the festivals and the unique personalities of each of those places. She said she's committed to bringing small towns back to life.
The mosaics Freeman creates often include materials like broken pottery and glass. For the Thrasher Park mosaic she will be careful to choose only those materials that have an exceptional freeze and thaw tolerance so that the materials will hold up well in any weather.