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Fourth-graders make tex-tiles for Salisbury Cotton Mills project

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
With apologies to Pink Floyd, all in all it’s just a another tile in the wall.
Artistic Rowan County fourth-graders are making 80 to 90 tiles that will be incorporated into a brick serpentine wall ó part of a new pocket park planned for the Wachovia Bank parking lot corner of South Church and West Fisher streets.
The “Salisbury Cotton Mills” project, overseen by the city’s Public Art Committee, will become part of the History and Art Trail that continues to develop in the downtown.
The fourth-graders ó from two to four per school ó are coming from all of the county’s 20 elementary schools and three private schools. They are being asked to make tiles out of clay that include some element tied to the history of cotton mills.
It might be things like a bale of cotton, a loom or spindle ó tex-TILES, if you will.
Barbara Perry, head of the Public Art Committee, and Urban Design Planner Lynn Raker have organized two Saturday tile-making workshops at Waterworks for the children to sculpt their clay, 8-inch-by-8-inch tiles and have them fired.
The first sculpting was done last Saturday by students from Millbridge, Isenberg, Faith, Landis, Knollwood, Cleveland, Mount Ulla and North Rowan elementary schools.
This Saturday, students from Hanford, Koontz, Woodleaf, Enochville, Bostian, China Grove, Rockwell, Shive, Granite Quarry, Morgan, Overton and Hurley elementaries will be sculpting.
They will return to Waterworks Oct. 18 and Nov. 8, depending on the schedule, to glaze their tiles.
Sacred Heart, North Hills Christian and Salisbury Academy also are involved in the tile-making project.
Sixteen county art teachers have been instrumental in getting the fourth-graders to participate, and Wachovia Bank officials also have supported the park.
Grants from the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation and the Urban Forestry Council are paying for part of the project, which will include new street trees.
A tile-making workshop, led by Ray Moose, was held for the teachers Aug. 20.
It is hoped the pocket park can be built sometime in 2009.

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