Mural Process

Concept Sketch of Installed Mural

Each person who lives or works in Vadnais Heights, as well as anyone who grew up in the city or has a connection to the community, is encouraged to “sign” a tile and seal their special place in the mural being created by Schmitt and the Vadnais Heights community. No appointment is necessary and there is no charge for inscribing a tile.

The mural will be composed of 1” x 1” wooden tiles, primed and painted by wage-earning clients of Merrick, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides employment and social opportunities to adults with disabilities. People will “sign” the prepared tiles and Schmitt will assemble them into a mural to hang in Vadnais Heights Commons.

“When the mural is completed and you stand up close, you will see the individual contributions,” said Schmitt. “When stepping back and looking at the mural from a distance, the unique details will fade as a landscape image of trees, lake, and sky emerges.”

The first step in creating the Make [Y]Our Mark Mural was to decide on a concept.

To develop a concept for the mural, Schmitt met repeatedly with a small group of individuals from the City of Vadnais Heights that are involved with the marketing and furnishing of the Vadnais Heights Commons Building. As a result of the meetings Schmitt produced three concept sketches for possible directions the mural image could go in.  The group agreed to go with the concept painting that depicted a landscape of trees reflecting in the water.


Initial Project Concept Sketch

One the Project Advisory Committee was formed, the inintal mural sketch was reviewed and Schmitt went on to produce a “final image” upon which the mural will be based.

Final Approved Image

The final image is approximately 9″ x 36″.

Now that the final image has been agreed upon by the Advisory Committee, professional photos have been taken of the image and Schmitt has used sophisticated photo-editing software to reduce the original image to the exact number of pixels needed to create the final 4 x 17 feet mosaic mural panels.

Image Depicting 12,000 tiles

Schmitt will then limit the number of individual pixel colors and count the number of each  individual color so that an order can be made with Merrick Inc. to prime and paint all of the 12,000 tiles with the appropriate base color.

Close-Up of the Pixelated Image

This entire process assures that the final image will in fact look very similar to the computer generated images created.

During tile signing events each participant is asked to fill out a registration form that will help us to archive each tile, and allow us to generate a directory at the end of the project in which each participant can look-up exactly where their family is in the overall mural.

Now that the plan is in place and we need your help, and participation, to make this community art project a reality!

Local Image did a segment on the project and process as part of their May 2011 show:


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