Local Artist Creates Award-Winning Mosaic Mural in Orange County Park
When local artist Cherie Bosela was awarded a public art commission through the Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Office in 2020, she was excited to create a mosaic mural that captured the unique and beautiful fauna and flora of Central Florida. In fact, she was so certain of what her piece was going to look like that she submitted a drawing of the actual finished piece with her application.
“When Orange County put its entry call out and included the description of the park and where it was located, I immediately saw the artwork in my mind and knew what I wanted to do,” said Bosela, owner of Lunar Mosaic Arts. “I was drawn to create native plant species and the Sandhill Crane, one of my favorite birds.”
Her piece, Natural Florida, transformed a wall of concrete block at Bomberos Field Park in Orlando into a lush portrayal of Florida greenery, flowers, plants and the aforementioned Sandhill Crane. It was accepted into the MGAI exhibit (Mosaic & Glass Arts International 2023) and recently won a 2022 Commercial Interior Design (CID) Special Recognition Award for “Artistic Use of Tile” at the Coverings Show.
“While I was installing the tiles, I heard this purring noise behind me, and I turned around to find two sandhill cranes standing right there,” said Bosela. “I swear they knew I was creating a mural with them in it and wanted to welcome me to the park. It was so funny and so cool.”
The mural, which took eight months to complete, was created out of handmade, hand-glazed tiles and shapes hand-cut from Daltile’s Natural Hues ceramic tiles for the background. They were hand-cut from rolled out clay when it was still soft, then hand-glazed.
“Seeing the vibrant colors I was able to produce with the handmade tiles was incredibly emotional for me,” she admitted. “This was my first public art project, so it was a big step in my career, plus I really enjoyed working with Orange County, which was very responsive to any questions I may have had.”
The natural environment is important to Bosela, and she loves creating art based on the natural world. “As an artist, I’m motivated by the need to create,” she said, “and with public art, it has a home where it’s going to be for a while, so it has some lasting value for the community.”
Construction projects in Orange County generally set aside 1 percent of the budget for original, site-specific Public Art. A selection panel comprised of stakeholders, arts professionals and members of the Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Public Art Review Board reviews submissions for each project.
Photo Caption: “Natural Florida” mural created by Cherie Bosela, located at Bomberos Field Park in Orange County Florida. Photo courtesy of Cherie Bosela.