The 2014 Responsive Grant was expended on our mosaic apprenticeships for Tieton Mosaic. This support allowed us to provide wages for apprentices, workshops on the techniques and materials involved in glass mosaics, safety orientation on the various equipment and tools in the studio, and a group installation of the mosaic signage around the City of Tieton.
We are immensely proud and grateful that the Yakima Valley Community Foundation supported direct wages to artists on this unique craft. Our original proposal called for six mosaic apprentices and we had eight by the end of the grant period: Serena Morgan, Arturo Solorio, Elizabeth Magano, Christie Tirado, Nancy Newberry, Ria Diaz, SaFyre Reese and Steve Morgan who is now our Studio Manager. These apprentices were picked from a pool of dozens of applicants based on their skills, availability, location (priority given to Yakima) and diversity. We also gave paid trainings to several other locals who can participate in our next round of apprenticeships.
These numbers do not include the countless folks who have come to the mosaic studio from all over the country to learn about this art form and perform "skills tests" on site, taking a small educational experience home with them.
By funding the apprenticeship program for Tieton Mosaic, Yakima Valley Community Foundation helped us to finish the City of Tieton signage system. Apprentices worked on five double sided signs that guide visitors around our city. There is a ten-foot tall double sided mosaic sign "WELCOME TO TIETON" as visitors come to the city. The back of this ten-foot sign reads "COME BACK SOON!". Since Tieton Square is not located at the junction of the two main roads, there are also two double sided directional signs "TIETON SQUARE -" located at critical intersections that guide visitors to our quaint downtown. Two park signs are erected with historical information on the back side for "TIETON CITY PARK" and "FRED KOEMPEL MEMORIAL PARK".
With this funding we were also able to create mosaic borders for four historical plaques in downtown Tieton. These plaques relate unknown provenance about four buildings in our downtown: The Hatten Hotel, Newland's Pharmacy, Zweizler's Restaurant and the Tieton State Bank. The locations have changed ownership and no longer resemble their original use. The mosaic borders make these histories attractive and engaging for residents and visitors. We will install these plaques this spring 2016.
Perhaps the most incredible accomplishment of this grant is that it directly funded artists learning a skilled craft that transformed a community. When you visit Tieton and see the mosaics, it is a showcase of the talents of our region.
You can learn more about Tieton Arts & Humanities on their webpage.