2020 was a strange year for all of us. I feel that I benefited more than most be the imposed isolation that COVID presented. I spent the summer making mosaics of all the Planets (including Pluto) and day and Night – in the garden behind the house at the Willy St Art Center. Outdoor mosaics do not hold up in Wisconsin, as well as say, in Mexico, due to the freeze/thaw cycle. I am trying to embrace the (minimal?) deterioration that is resulting – and learn from it.

Following the 2016 fire at the Willy St Art Center and the healing process I had begun by doing mosaics in the kitchen, I continued with mosaics in the upstairs bathroom. My grandchildren, Sirena and Tolan Flores helped with the mosaics.

On St Patrick’s Day, 2016, a fire started in the basement of the Williamson St Art Center. As luck would have it, I was out for dinner. I had to live elsewhere for 8 months. When I was able to move back in, as part of the healing process, I began to do mosaics inside the place. The first one I did was in the kitchen – a sun with it’s rays.

In 2014 Sharon and her daughter Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores worked with students, staff members and community members at Drexel Bi-Lingual Elementary School in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to create a huge mosaic on the exterior wall of the school. Neighbors now refer to Drexel as “the beautiful school.”

Leopold Neighborhood Association members, community members, and students at Leopold Elementary School sign mural panels that are installed at Leopold Park’s community garden. Community members and students also make mosaic stepping stones that are installed in the children’s garden.

Students from UW Office of Educational Opportunities Art & Technology program made a mosaic sun inside Centro Hispano. They also created action paintings and visited the Chazen Museum of Art.

Williamson Street Art Center worked with the Leopold Neighborhood Association to create a painted mural fence and mosaic stepping stones for the Leopold Park. We worked at Leopold Elementart School during their “open school house.” Funding for the project was secured by the nieghborhoos association through a city neighborhood grant program.

2012 Leopold Neighborhood Artist-in-Residency

This fall high school students at Prairie Phoenix Academy were joined by middle school students from Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School to finish beautifying the last side of the building. Students worked on mosaic sections reflecting prairie flowers and painted landscapes with inspirational sayings. Students also did much of the power washing of the building to prepare the walls for paint and mosaic. This phase of the project was funded by Dane Arts’ Power 2 Give.

During the “We Rise Like the Phoenix” mural project, students from all 6 alternative programs helped create murals on 3 sides of the school building. The student-designed murals include important activities that happen at the school, inspirational slogans and mosaics. Funding for this phase of the project was provided by American Girl Fund for Children.