Mosaic public art to line Canal Street

Volunteers are needed to create three large mosaic pillars to help transform a portion of Canal Street into the Canal Street Art Walk in Ottawa.

Volunteers began working on the pillars, which will have a pollinator theme, last week and will continue from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at A Mess of Things, 726 La Salle St. Volunteers are welcome to attend to help create mosaic images of a monarch butterfly, bee or flower.

These mosaics will then be incorporated by artist Susan Burton into the design of the Towpath Pollinator Pillars at her art farm in Marseilles and brought to Ottawa to be placed on the Canal Street Art Walk.

According to Burton, “the best part of this project is that anyone in the community can help create the mosaic artworks” at one of the mosaic art work sessions. In addition to Thursday’s session, there are three more opportunities to participate:

— Noon to 4 pm. Saturday, July 28, Ottawa Old Town Farmers Market, 100 block of West Jackson Street.

— 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, Art in the Park, Washington Square.

— 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, Jeremiah Joe Coffee, 807 La Salle St.

Supported by the Ottawa Is Blooming Committee as one of its America In Bloom campaign projects, the portion of Canal Street stretching north from Madison Street to the Illinois & Michigan Canal is steadily being transformed into the Canal Street Art Walk.

Most of a pedestrian and biking trail has been installed, a partial recreation of one of the historic Lateral Canal locks can be viewed, concrete architectural ornaments from an old school can be enjoyed along with a giant mosaic monarch butterfly. Another feature is a monarch butterfly and pollinator garden created by the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners and Ottawa Garden Club members. Its purpose is to foster the endangered monarch butterfly.

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