Wall Mosaics by Kevin Marion, Mosaic Creator
The mosaics are based on the historical art & culture of the Yadkin Valley region’s original inhabitants, Native Americans. Records of the very first Native Americans to inhabit the area refer to small Eastern Siouan stock tribes such as Saponi & Tutelo, as well as a tribe called the Keyauwee and others. The sun was a very important element in their cultures, hence the sun burst in the plaza pavers. All of these tribes were at some point absorbed into the Cherokee tribe. “I thought it very appropriate to use the concept of the Seven Clans of the Cherokee as the principle generator for the design.”
The seven pointed star represents the seven clans. Each Clan is associated with several characteristics including specific colors. I have utilized these colors in the central star for the mural. Each clan is further represented in seven “shards” of the star dispersed across the mural to express their individual existence within the Cherokee tribe (one aspect of the seven clans is that they are not to intermarry between clans).
The Aqua colored undulating band represents two things. First, it represents the meandering Trail of Tears which refers to the mass relocation of the Cherokee Tribe (and other tribes) to reservation lands to the West. Second, it is a visual representation of the length of the Yadkin River that runs along the northern border of Yadkin County.
Along the Trail of Tears scattered around each “shard” are many individual glass tiles of a uniform color. These tiles will total 400, each representing 10 people for a total of 4,000; the estimated number of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee’s who perished on the Trail of Tears.
The areas of white grey and black tiles above and below the aqua band represent the many natural dualities prominent in the Cherokee culture, similar to the concept of Yin and Yang. More specifically this art represents the transitions from day to night and from birth to death; white representing birth/day and black representing death/night. The top and bottom areas are reversed, enforcing their dual existence, their dependence on one another to exist.
The top border of the installation represents the rolling hills and valleys of the Yadkin Valley Region. The water feature is obviously the Yadkin River itself which formed the mountains and the valleys, bringing life and vitality to the region.
I wanted this to have another layer of meaning beyond the Native American theme. The seven points of the star also represent different disciplines of art, specifically, 2D Visual Art, 3D Visual Art, Performance Art Dance, Performance Art Music, Creative Writing/Poetry, Moving Images and Drama. The dispersion of the “shards” represents the spread of artistic influence throughout the Yadkin Valley Region.