Mosaic artist envisions Campbell River as Canada’s Barcelona

Arts celebration at Spirit Square on July 28 will include a community mosiac-making exercise

Artist Agnes Thomas displays one of her mosaic creations

The mosaic is a metaphor for life and community.

It’s a philosophy embraced by artist Agnes Thomas who takes bits and pieces of all sorts of materials, and assembles them to form a three-dimensional works of beauty.

And she sees the same thing happening in Campbell River where people with different skills, experiences and points of view come together to form a vibrant and beautiful place to live.

“I know there are hundreds of people in Campbell River, many of of whom are retired, and they’re just waiting to give what they have to give,” she says in the spacious tent structure that serves as her studio.

That has led the 52-year-old to start the CReation Mosaic Project which begins on the morning of Saturday, July 28, at Spirit Square downtown.

In this “first-step” phase, Thomas is calling on everyone, from young to old, to bring broken pieces of pottery, tiles, glass, rocks, shells, driftwood and whatever else they want to use to create a 5×5.5-foot mosaic that represents the spirit of Campbell River.

“Everyone has something in their home they can use – and they beauty of mosaic is that it doesn’t cost very much,” she says.

Thomas is hopeful the group can permanently hang the finished mosaic near the Spirit Square, located beside the Campbell River Public Art Gallery. And after one is completed, Thomas envisions all sorts of mosaics in the community.

“I’m crazy about mosaics and when I go to Barcelona (Spain) it brings me joy to see so many, everywhere,” she says. “Campbell River could become the Barcelona of Canada.”

But there’s more to Thomas’ vision than just beautifying the city with mosaics. She sees adults passing along their wisdom to the young, people learning from each other and helping each other.

She would also like to see more community gardens – decorated with mosaics, of course – where people come together to grow food and flowers, and get to know each other.

“I have to try,” says Thomas, a native of Paris, France. “It is a profound thing for me to try this and I want the people to guide this project.

“It’s going to be totally ‘organic’ and this project will grow on its own.”

The mosaic project, sponsored by Impressions Custom Framing, runs in conjunction with River City Arts Fest taking place at Spirit Square begins on July 28, at 11 a.m. You can see Thomas’ mosaic works, currently on display at Island Style Creative on Shoppper’s Row. For more information, e-mail Thomas at crcreatecommunity@gmail.com