Over 150 Hillsborough community members turned broken pottery and bottle caps into mosaics this summer as part of the #LoveHillsborough Community Art Project.
The project, a public mural combining independent mosaics made from a variety of materials, is being prepared for display by Carlos González García, a mosaicist new to the area.
The mural will be installed on the westward facing wall on the ground floor of the Eno River Public Parking Deck in downtown Hillsborough.
The #LoveHillsborough collaboration between García and the Orange County Arts Commission developed after the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted García’s plans to open the area’s first professional mosaic school in Eno Mill, called NCMOSAICS.
“Carlos had just moved here and was trying to find a space to start his mosaic school,” said Katie Murray, director of the Orange County Arts Commission. “We just kind of connected. It's really rare — not a lot of artists work in mosaic, and very few mosaic artists have actually had the training that he has.”
García, a graduate of Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli (The Mosaic School of Friuli) in Spilimbergo, Italy, holds a master’s degree in mosaics.
“COVID-19 happened, so (the school) got put on hold, and we were kind of like ‘Well, what do we do now?’” Murray said. “He was talking about making a video to show people how to make a small mosaic, and I said ‘Why don't we take these small mosaics and install them?'”
The #LoveHillsborough mosaics had only one thematic requirement: each piece must include a heart.
“I think the theme of love — that's what we need these days: more love and less hate,” García said. “There’s just so many different people that can express themselves with their designs. It’s like a language by itself. I want it read as like a unit, like a universal language that everybody is part of.”