Love Hillsborough community art project was created by the Orange County Arts Commission with mosaic artist Carlos González García to celebrate community and love during the COVID-19 pandemic. Community members created more than 150 heart mosaics from home which were then installed together in Downtown Hillsborough. You can go see the mural yourself, located behind Weaver St. Market in the Eno Parking Deck just off the Hillsborough River Walk. Learn how the project came together here and view instructions on how to make your own mosaic here.
Scroll over the image below and select highlighted mosaics to read their stories.
Did you make a mosaic but don’t see your story? Email us.
Created by Amanda Ann & Steve Godwin
We were drawn to the project because it was community-wide and it was a new-to-us art form. We loved the focus on Love during this time of so much division in the world at large. We each made a design, shared them, merged the ideas we both liked and started to learn how to mosaic! We are grateful to Carlos and the Arts Commission for helping the community to birth this positive, loving project.
Created by Katie Claire, Chase, "Pops & Mina"
I read about the #LoveHillsborough mosaic project and thought it was a wonderful craft idea for the grandchildren (ages 3 and 6 at the time). I asked them what made them happy when thinking of fun summer days. Among many replies, we focused on rainbows, flowers and hearts. We really had a great time designing and creating this together. We worked in the garage with no technology interruptions. I had many odd ceramic plates that we used and then augmented with purchased materials. The kids had a blast breaking things and deciding where to glue. This was the first time we did anything of this magnitude. We will create another as this was great fun and created lasting memories.
- Anita McAllister
Created by Ann Hobgood
I had the grandest time making my square for the “Love Hillsborough” project because I got to spend seven days with my granddaughter (Theresa Allore) in my art studio. During her teen years, our paths didn’t cross often, but now she is 20 years old and taking a gap year from Wellesley College, so she had free time to make her own square for the mosaic. We enjoyed lots of fun quality time together, making art and talking. It was very special for me, particularly during this Covid virus pandemic when I have been so isolated. She’s a very bright, unique, talented girl - and she’s my granddaughter. (We had so much fun that she wanted to make 7 mosaic risers for her mother’s front porch stairs! So she did. Check them out on South Occaneechee St. after Nov. 15 or so.) Community art and Hillsborough rock!
Anne Brown Jarvis
Created by Anne Brown Jarvis
I liked the idea that people from all around Hillsborough could participate in public art and see their work displayed downtown. I've never done a mosaic of any kind. I used old ceramic tiles that I spray painted then cracked with a hammer. I found some aquarium glass for extra color. I wanted a big heart to radiate love and happiness.
"B" by Bill Whitmore
Created by Bill Whitmore
I never made a mosaic, and Carlos’ video guided my first effort. Habitat for Humanity finds sourced the work. Hillsborough is known for its literary community, and a SCRABBLE tile seemed a fitting tribute. Only wish we lived in Hillszorough for 7 more points.
Created by Bruce & Cara Chinery, Sandy & Violet Mouras
When we heard about the Mosaic Project, we knew we wanted to contribute. Cara sketched out the design of 4 concentric hearts, representing current and future generations of our family. Our daughter, Sandy, purchased the plates at the Scrap Exchange. With our granddaughter Violet, we broke the plates into pieces. (That was a fun family activity.) Bruce then arranged and rearranged the pieces. This is how it turned out and we love it. Looking forward to seeing it on the wall for years to come!
- Cara Chinery
Created by Clare, Joss, and Casey Young
In the midst of the pandemic and political upheaval, the mosaic project gave our family a way to think about the big picture. We selected buttons for our mosaic because we wanted a lot of color gradients. The hearts on our mosaic represent different groups coming together to make something new. During such a contentious time in history, it’s important to remind ourselves that every family, group, town, country (and the world) have to find a way to meld together, not just shut each other down with violence.
- Casey Young
"V" by the Wright Family
Created by Catherine, Jeff, Jennifer, and Sophia Wright
As a longtime employee of the Town of Hillsborough, I was invited to make a letter mosaic and was assigned the letter V. My family had never done a mosaic before, but I love art and all crafty things and we had dabbled in various art styles as a homeschooling family until my daughters entered high school. I thought it would be a fun family project. They weren't thrilled. Some of their protests: We've never done a mosaic. We don't have any materials. How long is this going to take? I wasn't kidding when I posted to the town's social media sites that we laughed, we argued and we stayed up into the wee hours. My family is a bunch of Type A's. We argued over every detail. I wanted to recycle materials we had. They didn't. My husband wanted a bold, straight-lined V. Others wanted to embellish it. In the end, we compromised. We used a mixture of broken ceramics we had at home, throwaway ceramics provided to us by local potter Marne Farrar, and some traditional, hand-cut mosaic glass called smalti that we purchased online. I love that a bit of Marne and the pottery classes my girls took with her for years are part of our mosaic. I also love that it has a bit of each of my family. My daughters and I put together the blue V, the flowers and the wavy green stalks. My husband outlined the V, pieced together much of the background, and added in more greenery at the bottom than we had initially intended. We also planned for more white in the background but realized at the 11th hour that we didn't have enough. I started a background with bits of yellow and purple thrown in, and my husband ran with it. He and I worked on the mosaic literally into the wee hours and then some of the day it was due. On our first night with our firstborn at UNC, the mosaic was a good distraction. It includes some of our tears. It includes hours of Harry Potter movies. It includes our love. We really do #LoveHillsborough.
- Catherine Wright
Created by Christina Conrad
This was my first attempt at making a mosaic. With all that has been going on in our world in 2020, I felt moved to create something for this project to support our community. A wall of hearts all coming from local artists that people can walk by and see seemed a great way to remind us of our oneness. I based my design on something I say to my sons every night - peace in our hearts, minds and spirits.
- Christina Conrad
Created by Cindy Stubbs
I am the owner and farmer at Firefly Farm, this the FFF insert in the mosaic. This year my U-pick flower sessions featuring sunflowers were a big hit, allowing people to get out on the farm with friends and family during a difficult Covid-19 time. The joy and love they shared is represented in this mosaic. Looking forward to more years of sharing the flowers on the farm here in Hillsborough.
- Cindy Stubbs
Created by Corley Jones
Carlos Gonzales has been a family friend of ours for decades - we were over the moon that he decided to move from his home in Mexico to our town of Hillsborough. I have never made a mosaic before, and signed up to do it because Carlos was heading up this project and with the pandemic, I had a lot more time to spend at home learning something new. I used the traditional mosaic smalti glass for this piece. The meaning behind this mosaic: the big tree represents our family choosing to set roots in this amazing town. With the 4 roots representing our 4 children and the 6 pine boughs representing all 6 members of our family. The water is the beautiful Eno River as it meanders through our town and of course the heart is our deep love for Hillsborough.
- Corly Jones, Eno River Farmers Market Manager
Created by Crawford Horne
My ‘Hillsborough Heart’ mosaic featured a heart within a heart and includes the word “Gradh” which means “Love” in Scots Gaelic. Not only does this reflect my Scottish heritage, as my parents were born and bred in Scotland, but it brings to mind the role that Scottish settlers played in the early development of North Carolina and Hillsborough in particular. I'm a retired architect and current potter, and the majority of the pieces used in my mosaic were pieces of broken stoneware from discarded pottery.
- Crawford Horne
Created by Diane Trowbridge
I've always wanted to make a mosaic so when the chance to to make one for a community art project came up, I jumped at it. Then life got in the way until I got the last reminder email and I finally began looking for inspiration and materials. I had trouble finding the tile cutters since the local hardware stores were sold out and I didn't trust that I could get them delivered in time to complete the project.
Stained glass was listed as one of the materials used in mosaics and I decided to use that instead of tiles since I could not find glass cutters. I chose glass to represent all the colors of the rainbow since I was a Rainbow Girl as a young girl. The organization had a profound impact on my life and shaped who I am today. The colors each represent seven important lessons Rainbow Girls receive on love, religion, nature, immortality, fidelity, patriotism and service.
My mosaic design started with a small heart but due to my inability to cut glass with curves, the heart kept getting bigger and bigger (a lot like Hillsborough!), so I just allowed that process to happen. It was as if the heart in my project said, "Don't stop now, I need to be bigger!" That struck me as the perfect metaphor for the art I was trying to create.
I learned through this project that no matter how large or how many hearts there are in Hillsborough, there is always room for more growth. I'm so grateful to the Orange County Arts Commission and Carlos for this opportunity as I never would have participated in something like this without their invitation and encouragement.
- Diane Trowbridge
Created by Dorothy Potter
I have never made a mosaic nor touched the tools used. It was scary. I didn’t want to mess up and I didn’t know the rules regarding distance, and sharp edges, and layering and which nipper, etc. The theme as I understood it had to contain a heart and since the install location was going to be at the entrance to our beautiful Riverwalk, I wanted to have the pathways represented and of course the trees and the sparkle of the river. With regard to the materials, it was important to me that I use only the tile that my big brother who passed away in 2015 gave me. He owned a tile business and so the colors used were decided by his gift. Within the composition, I placed enough and just enough of one of the color tiles to represent all my siblings (12 ) (yes..twelve). I placed in the tree top there are clusters in numbers that mean something to me.
Last, I wanted to represent Hillsborough. As a matter of fact, I left a request on my piece that asked that the heart that I installed as the kite be left cracked. It pained me to break that heart. It was formed out of a large piece of glass I had, and as I said, I had no idea what I was doing, but I managed to create a perfect heart TWICE, and I purposely broke one. Those two hearts (one hidden and one front and center) represent Hillsborough, my home for over 20 years. I’ve seen it undergo change with all its growing pains. Through interacting with several groups on social media, it would seem to many observers that Hillsborough is divided along many lines: growth, race, politics, socioeconomic, broken irretrievably. But, I know that underneath we are a strong community, and in a HEARTbeat ALL the people of Hillsborough would come together for a need, across political and racial and socioeconomic lines. In my mosaic, underneath that broken heart is a fully formed and whole heart underneath the broken one.. solid and perfect.
- Dorothy Potter
Created by Duane Abbott
My message is simply that everyone needs to love what they see in the heart-shaped mirror I created. It's been said so many times that it's probably perceived as trite. But if you don't love yourself (as RuPaul says), how the heck are you going to be able to love anyone else? I wish we could all love the good in ourselves and each other.
- Duane Abbott
Created by Erin and Elise Eckert
The mosaic project gave us something fun to do together as a family while staying safely at home. This was our first experience with mosaics and we took inspiration from the quilt squares we've seen on barns during our travels around North Carolina, imagining our mosaic to be one square of Hillsborough's larger quilt.
- Erin Eckert
Created by Ginger and Avani Lipscomb
I was inspired to make a mosaic because I truly love Hillsborough, and I love to make collaborative, community art! I appreciate how valued and encouraged art is in our community and I want to support it and participate whenever I can. My daughter helped me by being my design consultant and idea partner. We've made mosaics before, but not this big or intricate! The design was inspired by my daughter's love of black and white geometric design. The use of the rainbow was inspired by the recent coming out of someone I love more than anything. I want them, and everyone in our community to know they are loved just as they are.
- Ginger Lipscomb
Created by Tracy Ralston
I use to work as a stained glass artist at different studios. Now I work full-time at Duke Children's Hospital in pediatric cardiology doing ultrasound. When I heard about Carlos' project and that it must have a heart in it I felt it would be a perfect fit to represent all the children with heart defects in my piece. Using slumped glass to make the flowers growing out of a stained glass anatomical heart, I wanted to reflect the beauty and resilience that I see in our patients and their families.
- Tracy Ralston
Created by Heather, Rachel, and Kehl Heavlin, and Kathryn Wynes
This was a wonderful opportunity to share our love of Hillsborough with the community while having a fun family activity to do during the "safer at home" time over the summer. Myself, my children, and my mother were able to work on this project together. None of us had ever done a mosaic and were excited to give it a try. We used the Eno River and landscape throughout the many hiking and walking trails in Hillsborough we have explored this year as inspiration for our nature inspired heart.
- Heather Heavlin
Created by Ida Trisolini and Lydia Crowley
I get so attached to pieces of pottery that when they break, I can't bear to throw them away. I keep them, and keep them, and keep them... I just know I'll find something beautiful to do with them. Well, #lovehillsborough gave me just the thing. This square is made from all the broken pottery I've collected over the years. There are pieces in there made by people I love, potters I admire, and gifts from friends and family. Susan Davis Wells, do you see your tumbler in there? Christel Greiner Butchart, the moon phases cup broke, but it'll be forever in this piece. There's a mug from my sister Susan's trip to Orcas Island. And a pie plate that was a wedding present almost 30 years ago. Creating this piece has filled me with joy. When I think about the origination of each piece combined with my love for those people and memories, and add it all to my love of our sweet little town, that's a lot of #lovehillsborough. I'm so grateful my daughter and I could be part of this project!
- Ida Trisolini
Created by Jane Price
I wanted to honor my family and friends in the rainbow dimension of personal expression. All colors, all loves. I am a stained glass artist and over 80, so I was glad to be able to use materials on hand and not risk going out for supplies. Carlos was helpful with guidance in using the mesh base. I use opaque glass for garden stones, but this project gave me a way to use some small scraps to make something fun and beautiful. Look for the Eno River flowing across the bottom of my work, with colorful hearts growing above.
- Jane Price
Created by Jen Baczara
I loved working on this mosaic. This was my first mosaic and I was so grateful to be able to be a part of the #LoveHillsborough project. I added the flowers to my heart because when I think of Hillsborough, I think of the trails that run all through Hillsborough that are scattered with flowers. No matter if you are on one of the trails, walking downtown or visiting the Farmer's Market, you'll always see flowers around town. I added the words "hope" and "love" to my mosaic because of an incident that happened in August of 2019. The Ku Klux Klan came to Hillsborough, which is something that I never thought I would see in my lifetime. It was one of the saddest things I have ever witnessed. We were horrified. But within days, the community organized a march to stand up against this hatred. One week after the Ku Klux Klan came here to intimidate us and to try and spread their hate, we came together as one to show that hate and ignorance have no place in Hillsborough. Music was playing, signs were being carried and the streets were flooded with people as far as the eyes could see. This is Hillsborough. The only feelings I had that day were of hope and love.
- Jen Baczara
"H" by the Weaver Family
Created by Mayor Jenn Weaver and family
When I talk about what makes Hillsborough special, the first things that come to my mind (and heart) are its people, and the landscape. The tiles that make up the "H" represent the wide variety of people who live here. These tiles also form two large trees, with canopies providing shade and beauty for the people. There is a raised fist in the left-hand tree, as we wanted to somehow capture an important element of this particular historical time - the call for racial justice locally and across the nation. The H/trees are set against the backdrop of important elements of Hillsborough's landscape - river at the bottom, the land and mountain above the river, opening up to the beautiful North Carolina Piedmont sky.
- Mayor Jenn Weaver
Created by Daphne Tyll and Jennifer Hurtgen
Given the “Love Hillsborough” prompt, my 10 year old daughter designed the picture and placed the tiles for our submission. She included a little yellow house, just like ours, which shows the love emanating from inside. We included a row of water-like tile from our home to symbolize the Eno River, since it is one of our favorite parts of living here and also runs through the heart of our town. The largest heart is made of mirror for two reasons; to reflect the people of our town -which is what makes Hillsborough special, and also as a reminder to love yourself. My daughter completed her square and did some research on Gaudi and his mosaics as part of a family Summer project.
- Jennifer Hurtgen
"Thin Blue Line"
Created by John Dempsey
Thin Blue Line' was made to acknowledge, and in appreciation of, the efforts of our police and our community's first responders. Thank you.
Created by Kate Fleishman
I’ve always been fascinated by people who make things and have a large accumulation of materials for a “someday” project.
In the doldrums of quarantine, my friend Judith Goldstein called to encourage me to join the mosaic project. I was thrilled to get motivation to delve into my many containers of materials and organize with the heart theme. It was uplifting to reconnect with Judith in our Grandmother stage!
My mother spent her last months In Hillsborough, enjoying shopping, lunching and River Walk, so I started with her jewelry and colored glass.
I made my heart with old rusty horseshoes and trailer pins in memory or my ponies who gave rides to kids at the first Hog Day In 1983. And also as a nod to rusty Jack who always puts a smile on my face as I enter the parking deck.
I gathered some flat river stones for something rough and natural in the rusty heart and to recognize our wonderful access to nature.
My husband happened to snap a picture of Carlos on his ladder installing the mosaics it coincidentally showed his hands on Judith’s mosaic!
- Kate Fleishman
Created by Kelly Keadey
Love. When deliberating how I would approach this project, I knew I wanted to convey an important message using recycled materials with meaningful family history to address our current social climate.
I found out in recent years that my great, great, great, great, great paternal uncle, Senator Charles Sumner of Boston, Massachusetts, was a prominent anti-slavery leader. As an abolitionist, his strong convictions led to him being nearly beaten to death in his Senate chambers. He pressed President Lincoln to sponsor legislation to free slaves and give them civil rights. As a nod to my uncle, it seemed appropriate to use pennies to surround the main heart, providing a strong foundation for love.
I inherited my maternal grandmother’s button collection. Growing up during the Great Depression in the panhandle of Texas, she admired fashion and practiced frugality. The buttons are from her, my grandfather, my mother, my stepfather, my husband, our children, and my clothes. The tedious process of individually placing each button renewed a connection spanning four generations. Upon closer examination, I found the buttons were an appropriate representation of all humans with various characteristics that make them (us) all unique - rough around the edges, polished, speckled, intricate, bold, tiny - but all beautiful.
And so, my mosaic came together. Although not perfect, nor am I, nor are we as a society. Together, though, we are all better. May love win.
- Kelly Keadey
Created by Kimberly Landaverde
My #lovehillsborough story is not remarkable. I moved to Hillsborough in 2013 to be with my then fiancé (now husband) and over the past 7 years I truly have grown to love this town. Because I work outside of town, I have often felt “less connected” to the community. The downtown area has come to life with new restaurants, the Riverwalk, and other community-builders, and I love to see projects like this bringing more of us outsiders into the fold. I haven’t created a mosaic since I was a child and this was a fun project for me. My design is very simple, and with the rainbow I wanted to speak to inclusivity. Love knows no bounds. My hope is that Hillsborough will continue to be a vibrant, diverse community that embraces the love of all races, religions, creeds, and genders.
- Kimberly Landaverde
Created by Lynda, Martin, Tom, and Ellie Wileman
We moved to Hillsborough from the UK in 2008 and love being part of such a great community. When we saw the #LoveHillsborough mosaic project we knew we wanted to contribute. This was our first time making a mosaic so decided to keep the design fairly simple. We were inspired by the aboriginal dot painting that we saw on our travels in Australia. Since this meant using circular tiles we opted to use beads instead. On the plus side, this meant that there was no painstaking cutting of tiles! In the end, over 2,000 beads were used, far more than we had originally anticipated!
- Lynda Wileman
Created by John, Lynn, Anneliese, and Shannon Pinnell
Our first (and probably only) mosaic was 15 years in the making and a family effort. The shells were collected mostly by our two daughters - Shannon and Anneliese - during beach and lake trips while they were growing up. So much of our lives revolve around Hillsborough even though our address is Durham - schools, church, clubs, teams, friends, restaurants, etc., that it seemed only fitting to participate in the mosaic project, especially since we accumulated several hundred shells! All four of us put together the mosaic, and Carlos' video was inspiring and very helpful.
- Lynn Pinnell
"Love is the Key"
Created by Maggi Grace and Susan Clements
Having recently moved back to Carrboro, we were excited to participate in another community art program. It was a perfect activity to focus on during the pandemic, and it’s the first time we’ve done a mosaic together. We used materials that we had on hand, and the keys seemed a perfect addition as the background. We tried to involve our twin grandchildren along the way since we were homeschooling them every day (in Oregon). We asked them to look at the finished product and help us with the title. They chose “Love is the Key”, (“to everything!” they added). We agreed.
- Maggie Grace
Created by Marie and Erik Strandwitz
As a former resident, advisory committee member, and now current town employee, I absolutely loved this idea. I have special ties to Hillsborough on many fronts. It was something I could also do with my husband, Erik, during the pandemic. We had never made a mosaic, but I have experience with stained glass. It allowed me to break out my glass tools and spare glass pieces. When we were considering design ideas, immediately we both envisioned something with love, peace and music because that is how we associate with Hillsborough and its people. After several design ideas, we settled on a simple one that embodied our ideas. We are so excited to be a part of this community project and are in awe of the other talented and creative entries. Love Hillsborough!!!
- Marie Strandwitz
Created by Harper Trost
Harper, who is 14, led the charge for this mosaic. There are so many reasons to love Hillsborough, but what moved her to create this art installation is her love of our close proximity to the shores of North Carolina! Two dolphins jumping in the sunset is the design that she created (and beautifully implemented) to remind us all of our connection to the ocean. The materials used are recycled plates and mugs from OCIM and Goodwill. Mom's only role was assisting with the smashing of said plates and mugs, which was quite cathartic during these COVID times. I love that we will look back on COVID and be able to recall her creativity and tenacity to bring this mosaic to fruition.
- Marty Nelson
Created by Kirsten and Karen McCulloch
Kirsten designed the pattern based on a quilt pattern used by those who were affiliated with the Underground Railroad, given the current climate of racial conflict in our country. We used a broken artglass piece that Kirsten made when she was a kid, and also integrated some buttons from Kirsten's grandmother's button collection. Kirsten's grandmother/Karen's Mom was a victim of COVID-19 in April of this year, but if she were still here we would have had her help with the mosaic. We think she'd like that "part of her" is included. It was such a good thing to have a creative project that would allow us to express some of the challenges that 2020 has brought us all, and to be able to celebrate our little corner of heaven here in Hillsborough. We heart H-town 🙂
- Karen McCulloch
Created by Nancy Beach
This piece is made with soft clear glass that has a colored backing. I love Hillsborough and it's loved me back, so I chose two interlocking hearts to represent that.
- Nancy Beach
"O" by the Murray Family
Created by Katie and Steve Murray
In early winter 2020, I had the good fortune to meet artist Carlos González García who had just moved to Hillsborough from Mexico. He was scoping out space for a mosaic school at the Eno Mill where the arts commission had just opened new studios. A few months later, COVID-19 was in full swing, and both of our big plans for the mill had been postponed. We began thinking about ways we could cheer up the community through art. Carlos suggested making a video to show people how to make a small mosaic from home during the stay-at-home order. I had been eyeing the wall behind Weaver Street Market for years, seeing it as a blank canvas in need of something beautiful. I've been so inspired by the community love in this town ever since moving here, and knew I wasn't alone. So we decided to ask to the community to create a visual testament of our love for this great place, and "Love Hillsborough" was born.
The response was overwhelming. We had more than 300 families register; in the end, we had 157 mosaics submitted - strangely, the exact number we needed for the wall, plus one made by 9 year old Kaylee Perry which we placed with the project plaque on a column across from the wall. Once people started turning in their little masterpieces, we were so inspired by the thoughtfulness, time, and symbolism, we knew we needed to capture the stories as well. We decided to create a webpage for the project to share all the stories people shared with us.
This project has been a been a truly bright spot during a dark time in our world. Making my mosaic and witnessing other people's joy while making theirs kept me sane over the summer. My mosaic is made up of a bazillion beer caps. My hubby Steve is a beer aficionado and, despite my annoyance, has been saving beer caps for more than ten years. When I was trying to think about what to use to make my "O," I was suddenly grateful for his collection. The five flowers on the bottom represent me, Steve, and our three pups, one of whom passed away at the beginning of the pandemic at the age of 15. In the center of each flower are caps from NC breweries. And in the center of the "O" is a cap whose inside reads, "support your local music," which is timely given the impact the pandemic has had on the arts, especially the performing arts.
I'm so thankful for meeting Carlos and for living in a town that I knew would so fully embrace a project like this. And as I sit here entering all these personal stories onto our website on Saturday, November 7, 2020, I am again reminded that here in Hillsborough, and thankfully across our great country, love will always win.
- Katie Murray, Director, Orange County Arts Commission
"Black and White Together"
Created by Nancy Earl
I’m not an artist, just a community member who wanted to participate in this wonderful project. I found these tiles at a local hardware-type store. Two sheets of tiles, one black and one white. The tiles were identical, in terms strength, utility, endurance, form, potential, except for the glistening black and white sheens on their surfaces. As I made my heart design, I was struck that these two colors come together and create something more meaningful. They both contribute equally, and both are essential to this heart.
- Nancy Earl
"H" by Neil Stutzer
Created by Neil Stutzer for the Hillsborough Arts Council
When I found out that I was going to be a part of the mosaic project, I knew just what I was going to do, but had no clue how to do it. With the help and patience of Carlos, I was able to work through my idea.
I was inspired by volunteering to help grow the Hillsborough Arts Council for over 14 years. My part in this project is my way to show how Hillsborough grew into such an artful community.
Creating has been a big part of my life. It is a communication form that brings people together, creates social connection with others and allows people to be part of a community. It gives me a way to communicate and see perspectives of others.
- Neil Stutzer
"Our world held together by love"
Created by Becky Wheeler
I loved the idea that we would all have a part of a piece of art for our town. I've never done any mosaic before and I learned so much, (like larger pictures are easier than too much detail, like making a map of the world!!). I was trying to express how our world feels right now. It's like so many things are trying to tear us apart but love, hope, peace, faith all hold us together. I used lots of different materials just like the way our world is made up of differences but comes together to be one.
- Becky Wheeler
Created by Sophia Schultz
Before participating in this project I had never made a mosaic. I thought it would be a fun way to be a part of my community. When I heard the theme was Love Hillsborough my first thought was to have a rainbow of light emanating from a heart. To illustrate this I used bright, colorful glass tiles that would spread joy and light.
- Sophia Schultz
Created by Patricia Hull
A broken tile mosaic is like a community with its individual unique shapes and rough edges finding a way to fit together to form a cohesive whole. I chose Mexican Talavera tile for my mosaic because the mix of vibrant colors and intricate patterns represents the diversity that is found in a community like Hillsborough. I placed the traditional sun and moon tile at the center to represent the unity expressed within this diverse community. And the heart, representing love, holds the community together.
- Pat Hull
Created by Pringle Teetor
I have always wanted to a public art project but my work as a glass blower can be fragile. I have only done mosaics only once. Over the years I have saved lots of scraps of glass and murrini that I make in my studio. I love glass and I love Hillsborough, so this was a perfect project for me! My block is made from fusible glass, as well as glass from my studio. I used kiln flattened pieces of blown glass to make the river. Some of the murrini I make glow the dark and for fun, I put glow in the dark nuggets along the banks of the river. Glow in the dark is a theme in some of my work. There are a few tiny heart murrini throughout the piece. I used a piece from a cane vase as a rainbow to represent the diversity we have in Hillsborough. I've been a business owner in Hillsborough since 2006 and love this town!
- Pringle Teetor
"There's No Place Like Home"
Created by Rachel Butler
My husband and I moved from CA to Hillsborough in 2007. Sadly, I lost my husband to a stroke in 2019 and am learning to make this home without him now. My mosaic is called "There's No Place Like Home" and it's a take on The Wizard of Oz. Green tiles for Oz, yellow for the yellow brick road and Red for the ruby slippers. The pinwheel in the middle is a nod to my husband and our last road trip together. What I know for sure: We all have times in our lives where HOME becomes what grounds us, saves us and helps us go on. Hillsborough is home now.
- Rachel Butler
Created by Anna, Mike, and Robyn Musser
We really love living in Hillsborough because its both small and quaint as well as edgy and up and coming. Creating art work to help promote unity and beautify parts of Hillsborough was an opportunity our family didn't want to miss! Our daughter, Anna, a fifth grader at the time, designed our heart. We ordered traditional mosaic tiles to use because we had never done this before and we wanted to make the process as easy as we could for this first time. We also wanted to promote the idea that love grows- that it's not stagnant and with every year we live here, our love for Hillsborough grows, just like our relationships with people do and our love, care and concern for the environment should as well.
- Robyn Musser
Created by Ronnie and Josh Bower
I've never done mosaic work and if it wasn't for COVID and quarantine (and the Orange County Arts Commission), I likely would have lived out my days without ever knowing the thrill of finding the perfect, tiny piece of tile to fit into my design.
I chose materials I already had at home as a way to represent how the pandemic had changed our shopping and purchasing habits, forcing us to be more thoughtful and intentional. The blue tiles of the wave are ones I created several years ago, the beads were salvaged from my son's bead collection, the sky above the wave made from corks sliced thin. The shells that outline the heart have been collected from beaches as far away as Hawaii and New Zealand and as close as Kure. The white tile of the background was leftover from when our house was built in 2002. Everything came from inside the house that had become our world during quarantine.
The wave inside the heart is a reminder that each wave breaks, nothing lasts forever. The beach has always been a source of comfort and solace for our family, and now seemed the perfect time to share that comfort and solace with our wider community.
- Ronnie Bower
Created by Ruth Morgan, Morgan Sharp, Avery Blaisdell and Quinn Blaisdell
I thought the mosaic project would be a fun activity for my twin 5 year old granddaughters, daughter and I to do. My design shows 4 overlapping hearts. Each one of us designed our heart. Mine is the largest, my daughters the next in size and the twins are the smaller ones. One of the grands asked why my heart was the largest - my response, "because I am the oldest." I took a mosaic class through OLLI last winter and really like the medium. Materials are hard to find right now and what I could get commercially was limited. A friend who collects things gave me some tile options for my background.
- Ruth Morgan
Created by Tula, Mazzy, B.J., and Ryann Carey
Our family was inspired by the idea of collaboration. We all did multiple sketches of ideas utilizing the different elements of design and then combined the different ideas into one final piece. It was a really fun project and once we started putting pieces on, it was hard to stop! We choose to use pieces that had once been something else (a decorative tile, plate, art scraps, etc) as it felt like it would add another element of depth to the piece. We would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you Carlos and Orange County Arts, for creating something that brings people's creativity together when so many things right now feel so far apart.
- Ryann Carey
Created by Sarah, Richard, Eli, and Abram Zink
As soon as we saw the announcement about the #LoveHillsborough project, we signed up to participate! We have lived in this town for 14 years, and our love for its beauty, charm, and residents has only grown over that time. Making a mural seemed the perfect way to express our devotion to Hillsborough--and to be part of its history via public art. We talked with our 13- and 11-year-old kids about what they wanted to represent, and we all settled on this declaration from Maya Angelou: "In diversity there is beauty and there is strength." The open hands at the base of our square--tiled with white, cream, gray, red, and brown chips--represent the many cultures and races that make Hillsborough vibrant. The rainbow heart of course suggests that people of every stripe--every sexual and gender orientation, every background, every class--are of value and deserve dignity and respect. Unfortunately, in the grouting process the hands (and the clear beads we used for background material) are obscured, but we still know they are there! A very special part of making this mural was the involvement of a family member with dementia who was living with us at the time. Her mood was often darkened by frustration and anger, but the mural gave us common ground in our relationship. She would comment on the color choices, direct us to try different shapes or hues, and generally enjoy watching our hands at work. That was a gift to all of us during a very hard time. Thank you, Carlos, for making it possible.
- Sarah Zink
Created by Louise Flinn and Scott Williams
We wanted to participate in this mural because we love Hillsborough! Our mosaic used buttons not only because they represent a way of connecting and bringing things together in a way that's fun and colorful, but also because we had a big stash of buttons given to us by several important women (and moms!) in our lives. Depicting our love for Hillsborough as the iconic "mom" heart tattoo design was a way for us to celebrate our moms and Hillsborough together and will hopefully resonate with anyone who considers Hillsborough to be a part of their own "motherland."
- Scott Williams
Created by Sharon Stevens
I created tile strawberry, orange and pear mosaic-topped coffee tables for my first college apartment. From there, I was commissioned to make a glass mosaic table that incorporated a chess set. Through the years, though, I have gravitated to collage, so it is a full circle moment to create this mosaic. As my oldest child readies for college, I gathered up remnants of my kids’ youth. Plastic horses, googly eyes, bead necklaces, Pokemon figurines, and CDs that no longer hold fascination in my household now serve as a memory square for me and, hopefully, will engage others. How many pigs, seals, pandas, birds, dinosaurs, and sea creatures can you find?
- Sharon Stevens
Created by Sue Estelle-Freeman
I have loved making mosaics ever since I discovered them, about 10 years ago. As all of the makers of this collective mural now know, mosaic making is not a quick art form. Since I was working full time in New Jersey and had a family to take care of, I never had the time I needed to practice as much as I needed to. I took workshops here and there and nipped glass at my dining table in stolen moments. In 2019 we discovered Hillsborough and relocated here. Now, due to the loving support of my husband, I have a studio space and was able to retire this past February (2020) and devote my time to this art form. I am truly blessed!
My thought process about designing my heart mosaic evolved around my envisioning it on a concrete garage wall, which lead me to think of graffiti. I originally wanted to make it look like it was spray painted, but I couldn't at the time figure out how to do that (I definitely have plans to experiment with the idea), but I did manage to make it shiny and red! The heart is made out of one of my favorite materials to work with, vitreous glass tiles. The background is made of unglazed porcelain tiles. The crown is used in graffiti to designate the artist as the "king," but here my intention was to augment the the love being demonstrated for my new home town. I truly appreciate the opportunity being given to express this love in my most favorite way to express myself - mosaics! Many thanks to Carlos and the Orange County Arts Commission.
- Sue Estelle-Freeman
Created by Tonya Brami
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with others on such a great tribute to our lovely community! We all need to feel the love these days!
- Tonya Brami
Created by Valerie Ehrlich
We knew we would be moving to NC for work just before we got married, and we wanted to find a place to start our family and of course we fell in love with Hillsborough. For us, Hillsborough represents the start of our married, professional, and parent lives as well as the exact type of community we wanted to be part of. So when the community mosaic project was announced, we had to participate! For the mosaic, I chose colors that represented New Orleans (where we got engaged), the trumpet represents my husband (though he hasn't played in years); the heart is purple (my favorite color) and the 'love note' is our daughter, who we had just after moving to Hillsborough. The colors inside the heart are meant to represent the future shades and shape of life to come! I had never done a mosaic before and there was a learning curve, but it was a very fun and soothing process.
- Valerie Ehrlich
"O" by the Turner/Cummings Family
Created by Cathleen Turner, Lily and Maggie Cummings
I was so happy to be invited to participate in creating one of the Hillsborough letters. Our family chose an 'O'. We moved to Hillsborough for my job in 1994 and live in Downtown Hillsborough in a historic house. Over the years, we have collected various pottery shards, ceramic pieces, and other old treasures in the yard. We have made stepping stones out of them and other crafts. It was only natural that we would use our yard "art-ifacts" to create our 'O'! My daughters have a talent for creating some order out of my chaos and did an beautiful job integrating the historic bits and pieces on a background of blue glass stones. My husband provided materials advice and support. It was a fun project to work on together.
- Cathleen Turner
Created by Nadine Zenobi
I loved making this mosaic. The inspiration was the theme pertaining to love. There is so much fear in the world now that even the thought of creating a large wall with this vision of Love is amazing and truly inspiring for all to witness! I did make mine with another person and she sent hers in as well. I have made other mosaics but only a few and this was fun to do with the love theme.
I decided to use colored glass for mine because I love how translucent it is and how it catches light.
I made this piece with a reflection of a heart for everyone to see and know there is always a shadow and it is made of the light we all are.
- Nadine Zenobi
Created by Shannon Hales
Years ago, we collected "treasures" on our hikes, such as cool bits of glass from the old Hillsborough bottling site. When I heard about the project, I thought it would be fun to include the bottom of an old bottle with the "Hillsboro, NC" marking. I had some other materials, but no solid idea. When Ann Hobgood, a local artist, posted that she had extra materials to offer, I made arrangements to meet with her. One major joy of this project was getting to know Ann! We are neighbors, but had never met. We ended up having a nice (masked, socially-distanced) visit, and have been in touch several times since. I appreciate this project for providing an opportunity for creativity, new connections with our neighbors, and a positive focus for our energy during this time!
- Shannon Hales
Created by Carol Lawless
I made mine with Nadine, this is my first time making a mosaic. I asked friends who are artists where I could get material. Reconsidered Goods responded and the outline of my heart is a plate from them. I got some tile from a tile shop. I watched a video about making mosaic and a jar was the example so I went with that as my start. I believe we are better to be transparent with our heart and feelings with a little protection and wings for the angels to carry us to the next beating heart.
- Carol Lawless
Created by Colleen Minton
Created by mosaic artist Carlos Gonzáles García
Carlisle & Linny
Created by Lindsley Bowen, owner of Carlisle & Linny Vintage Jewelry in Downtown Hillsborough
"I" by the Meyer Family
Created by Graig, Mason, and William Meyer
My sons Mason and William chose to use Legos for the project because they are avid Lego builders and collectors. They used Lego pieces from their own collection, many of which they’ve bought with their own money over the years. They chose a design that has colorful pieces inside of the letter I and gray pieces outside of the letter. They said that the colored pieces symbolized the vibrant nature of Hillsborough and its residents, and the gray pieces symbolize the cold, dark world beyond the town and its environs. It was a tremendous family activity to create the letter together.
- Representative Graig Meyer
North Carolina House District 50
Serving Orange and Caswell Counties
"O" by Mark Bell
Created by Mark Bell
The main inspiration for my “O” was William Hooper’s signature on the Declaration of Independence. Hooper’s home is on West Tryon Street, where he died in 1790 and was buried in the nearby Old Town Cemetery. I was also inspired by two elements from the 1768 Sauthier map of Hillsborough: A compass rose in the upper left corner, and the street layout in the lower left corner which includes 18th and 19th century pottery shards from my yard on West King Street.
- Mark Bell, Town of Hillsborough Commissioner
"U" by Shannan Campbell
Created by Shannan Campbell
I did a letter for the Town & Hillsborough Tourism Program- it was fitting that I was assigned ‘U’ because we always say ‘U’ BELONG IN HILLSBOROUGH! My letter is supposed to be representative of the Eno River, which winds through town and is a feature of the town’s Riverwalk Greenway. The Riverwalk brings many visitors to town every year who are looking for a great outdoor recreation experience combined with the option to enjoy shopping, dining, and the arts in beautiful historic Hillsborough. I was glad to be able to reuse some leftover tile from a renovation project that was in my barn collecting dust. For the river I used a decorative stone in various shades of blue to try to convey movement of water. This project was a bright spot during quarantine because everything was so stressful so it was nice to take a break every day and work on the mosaic for a little while. It was also nice to have something to talk about with others working on the mosaic on how theirs’ was coming along, because this wasn’t a COVID-19 related topic. This was my first time ever doing anything with mosaics so there was a learning curve, but I’m glad I did it. I think the finished mural looks fantastic and it will be another piece of public art that will bring people to town. I hope the community and our visitors enjoy it for years to come.
-Shannan Campbell, Town of Hillsborough/Hillsborough Tourism Program
"S" by the Trueblood Family
Created by the Stephanie, Ben, Lily, and Sam Trueblood
Our family worked on the letter ‘S’. We decided early to upcycle materials for the project but didn’t have enough scrap tiles and pottery at home. It was early in the Covid pandemic and we were still under stay home orders, which presented a problem for finding materials. So we called the newly opened Habitat Restore in Hillsborough and spoke to an enthusiastic employee who gathered a box of white, blue, and orange tiles for us. We broke the tiles with hammers and shaped them with nippers. Breaking the tiles was both fun and therapeutic. Our kids Sam, 12, and Lily, 9, at the time, drew a sketch of what they wanted our letter to look like and we followed their design, deciding that using the white tiles which broke in sharper and more irregular pieces would stand out from the background. They also decided to include a spikey mohawk on the ‘S’. It took several weeks to place all the tiles and we all took turns. But when it came time to glue the pieces down, we tasked my husband Ben to do all the gluing. He’s much more patient than the rest of us.
- Stephanie Trueblood, Public Space Manager, Town of Hillsborough
"L" by the Mishoe Family
Created by the Mishoe Family
We were honored to be included in this project and create an “L” for the mosaic. Our L was designed by my husband and I to subtly serve as a nod to our family and is scattered with tokens and symbols of our history together. He is a Hillsborough native, and his family has a long history in the area, so this was an important part of our creation. There are coins scattered throughout the L which represent his longtime love of coin collecting, with many making silent remarks on aspects of our lives like cities we’ve lived in and important years in our history together. The bright colors and mixed materials represent my lifelong dedication to the arts. We were also careful to choose colors representing our universities and teams. If you look closely you’ll find other small symbols of our lives like a paw for each dog owned together, legos, beads, stones and other collected items from many trips, and more. In addition, there is a bias stripe in the L with coins from the birth years of our entire family – 3 generations for both my husband and myself – with their initials stamped into each. Nearly all of our family has settled into Hillsborough and now called Orange County home, so it was a great opportunity to create a memory for us all. We have no expectations that the viewer will notice or understand all of the nuances of it, and hoped as a whole it would simply create a strong addition to the piece as a whole.
- Torey Mishoe, Director, Hillsborough Arts Council
"L" by the Allison Family
Created by Melissa, Logan, and Ethan Allison
Being a Hillsborough native, I was thrilled at the opportunity to create something so special for the town I grew up in! As for the materials used, I knew right away I wanted to use broken pieces of Fiesta Dinnerware which is made here in the USA (Newell, WV)! My brother and I both share the passion of collecting (ok, maybe hoarding..lol) all the beautiful colors of Fiestaware. We have collected over 20 years so between us we had plenty of pieces to spare to be creative with. My two boys, Logan and Ethan loved breaking up the different color plates with a hammer that made up our very colorful letter. From laying the design out, a little first aid on some fingers and two bottles of glue our letter was completed with lots of “love”. Special thanks to my brother Stephen in Cleveland, Ohio for his contribution of some of the colors. This project was an honor to be a part of!
- Melissa Allison
(Check out Stephen's matching "Love" piece on the 2nd right, last piece on the right!)
Created by Mariano Gonzáles Mojica
Created by mosaic artist Theresa Arico
Created by the Gourley/Bemis Family
"E" by English Family
Created by Town of Hillsborough Robb English and family
"L" by Kathleen Ferguson
Created by Town of Hillsborough Commissioner Kathleen Ferguson
When the letter L landed in my lap, I immediately wanted to create something that reflected my love for this delightful, amazing, unique town of Hillsborough. The rainbow range of colors represent the diversity of our residents, our colorful characters, and the artistic soul of our community. The curves represent the continuity of our town over time, our connectedness to one another, whether by relationship, by Riverwalk and our street/sidewalk network, or by our love for our town. The background represents our town being a beacon, a light, in recognition of residents who are highly engaged and who contribute so much to our community as well as in recognition of high functioning, innovative government that serves as an example for others across the state and region.
- Kathleen Ferguson
Commissioner, Town of Hillsborough
"R" by Renee Price
Created by Orange County Commissioner Renee Price
"G" by Tinka Jordy
Created by artist Tinka Jordy
Created by Judith Goldstein
I chose to make flowers because I always choose flowers. I made the bright yellow ones thinking of the rudbeckia that grow so well all over town plus the wild little yellow sunflowers that line the country roads in the fall, and I had to make the sky Carolina blue! This project was a wonderful way for me to learn something new, and to interact with two friends I have known for decades who also made mosaics for the wall, Kate Fleishman and Kathy Hopwood.
Created by the Shore Family
When we were looking for a place to raise our family we feel in love with Hillsborough. We dreamed about taking our kids on the River Walk, enjoying the holiday parade, and putting down our roots here. Our three year old little boy drew the design and I filled it in with different colors and tiles. We are so happy to be apart of this love of Hillsborough.
Created by Adrienne Scurtu
I have enjoyed making mosaic tabletops but I stopped when my mother came from NY to live with us. She was scammed out of her savings while in the hospital with a stroke. Then came cancer. I took care of her and that was all I could do. She would say, "I wish you’d do another tabletop again,” but of course, I didn’t have time.
She loved Hillsborough. She didn’t get out much, so when I say she loved Hillsborough, I mean the people. The hospital employees. The rehab employees. The waiters and waitresses. The people she met in the senior center and the library.
After she passed, I tried to go back to art projects I had started or planned two years before and I was feeling absolutely no motivation to create anything. I considered donating my supplies. Then I heard about the project while in line at a grocery store. It was perfect- mosaic! And about Hillsborough and love. I grabbed some of her favorite colors of glass and made a panel. Had it been earlier, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Had it been later, I may have not had the supplies. Had I not been in line, I wouldn’t have heard about it. What timing!
I will always think about how I love Hillsborough, but ALSO how Hillsborough loved my mother when I see the panel.
Petruney Pedersen Family
Created by Jennie and Amos Petruney Pedersen
We love North Carolina, but live locally, so for this design we wanted to show the beating heart in Hillsborough. It was such an honor creating this mosaic along with all the other artists, some of whom have done this for the first time! Amazing passionate work was created all around! Long live mosaics, long live art! Love Hillsborough!
-Jennie and Amos
“Love” mosaic by Kaylee Perry, age nine, Hillsborough
Carlos in front of the mural, courtesy Catherine Wright, Town of Hillsborough