Fertile Ground goal: bring community closer together

By Alissa Jacobs

After 450 hours of labor, the Women’s Studies Program has revealed art arranged to produce a mosaic called Fertile Ground.

The mosaic was unveiled at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Reavis Hall. The opening celebrated the completion of the Women’s Studies Mosaic Mural Project. The event included a slideshow that showed the journey and the story behind the art. Three mosaics were completed and placed in Reavis Hall, Room 103.

The project was introduced in 2013 by Danielle Dobies, graduate fine arts student. Dobies suggested creating an art project that would include the community, and she was in charge of workshops two times a week from May until August. She taught the volunteers about mosaics and helped them make them.

There were 39 volunteers that took part in the workshop. The volunteers were ages 6 to 60, and 16 students, two alumni, nine faculty and staff members and 12 community members participated.

“This is above and beyond what I anticipated. To share it with the community is wonderful. It makes me warm inside,” Dobies said.

Women’s Studies Director Kristen Myers said it was important to share the art with the campus.

“I am really proud,” Myers said. “It is a great feeling to have people who gave up their time and resources. That creates an event for art that will be here long after we will.”

Dana Stover, wife of NIU President Doug Baker, attended the unveiling. Stover came to show support for the event and has two of Dobies’ art pieces in her living room.

“When I first came in July there was a call for people to help, and I thought it was a great project,” Stover said. “The mosaic is beautiful. I like that it is a community effort.”

Samantha Myers-Miller, DeKalb High School student, was one of the cello players at the event. Myers-Miller is the daughter of Kristen Myers and was involved in the workshops in the summer. Myers-Miller set up her cello along with her duet partner, alumna Nissa Sampson.

“I’m very excited to get to play for the mosaic opening,” Myers-Miller said. “I’ve been looking forward to it for so long. It’s fun to be a part of it.”