Art Graduate Student Creates Mosaic on Campus

In the spring of 2014, the NIU Office of Registration and Records approached professor Billie Giese in the School of Art and Design with an opportunity for a student to create a mural for their department entrance. Having developed a relationship over the course of the school year, Professor Giese directed them to graduate student Danielle Dobies, who regularly participates in public mosaic mural making.

During summer 2013, Danielle Dobies conducted a collaborative mosaic mural workshop with the NIU Women's Studies department during which participants learned the process, developed a design, and created a large-scale mosaic mural which now hangs in Reavis Hall on campus. Danielle Dobies is a third-year MFA candidate in the SoA with a concentration in sculpture. She developed her love of mosaics and public murals in her undergraduate career at Elmhurst College, and when this opportunity with Registration and Records arose, she gladly accepted.

The mural was created in her home studio over the course of the summer. By speaking with Registration and Records employee Candy Buie and director Jerry Montag, a concept was developed which would showcase the school mascot and highlight the campus architecture and rural setting.

To execute a mosaic mural, the final sketch is projected to scale and traced on graph paper. The resulting "cartoon" is laid upon a table and tiles are cut and placed on top, then taped in place. Once all pieces are cut and taped, the tiles can be lifted as a solid sheet and placed on a mortared concrete board. The final step is to grout and hang. The Huskie mural was installed in August just before the first week of 2014 fall classes.

Congratulations, Danielle, and thank you for making NIU offices into welcoming spaces!

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