The other day I came across an interesting mosaic of which the picture below is just one part.  There is a plaque beside it which says “Seen at a disance the mosaic reveals a crowd of people sheering and clapping, people of all backgrounds, which is the unique mix of Toronto.  Up close, the images dissolve into abstract patterns of colour and light.”.

close up of a mural made of mosaic pieces, people seated in an arena is the subject of the mural

The mural is called ‘A Small Piece of Something Larger’ and it was designed by Stephen Andrews and fabricated in Montreal by Mosaika Art.  It is made of smalti (hand cut mosaic glass), gold tiles and hand glazed ceramic tiles.

close up of a mosaic by Stephen Andrews with his signature on it.

I’d love to show you a picture of the whole thing but I can’t.  The piece is located in the taxi drop off and valet parking area of the Trump International Hotel.   I dodged cars while I took these photos.   The wall that it is on looks cheap, especially with the dreary doorway that cuts into the mosaic.  Another strike against this piece is the very yellow nature of the lighting in this space. I played with the colour balance on the photo below to try to capture the true colour of the artwork.

mosiac art on a wall with a doorway in the middle of it

It really deserves a better location.

parking entrance and valet parking at Trump International Hotel in Toronto. A blue taxi has just pulled in, a yellowish hue in the interior of the space
The above picture was taken from the NE corner of Bay and Adelaide.
Just a few steps west on Adelaide is this mosiac (look up!):

Five vertical panels of mosaics above the entrance of a downtown building, much taller buildings are on either side of it and behind it. Bell Canada building on Adelaide West, mosaics by York Wilson, communication theme public art

It is above the entrance to the Bell Canada Building at 76 Adelaide West.  Five panels, each twenty feet tall and five feet high, of glass mosaic tile are embedded in the cement of the building.  It was designed by York Wilson and installed in 1965 when the building was constructed.

The theme of the piece is communication and each panel represents a different form of communication.   From left to right: writing, drawing, music, voice, and satellites.

five vertical panels of mosaic in bright colours on an exterior wall

Staying on Adelaide, walk east again but continue to Yonge Street.  Here you can find another hidden, almost secret, mosaic that many people have walked past and never seen.  Find the silly little entrance way to what is called the Dynamic Funds Tower on the SE corner of Yonge and Adelaide.  Stand outside the entrance but don’t go in.  Now look up.

glass mosaic ceiling that is almost circular, octagonal but the sides are not equal width.

Three very different mosaics all within a few steps of each other.

….and there’s one last stop on our mosaic tour.  It’s not a mosaic but looking at Stephen Andrews’ work at the Trump Hotel reminded me of a sculpture.  If you walk down Yonge Street, just south of the railway tracks you’ll find a bronze ‘Immigrant Family’ by Tom Otterness.

Immigrant Family, a sculpture by Tom Otterness, a father mother and baby in arms.
A roly poly mother, father and baby in arms.  A bit cartoonish but vague enough that they represent no one immigrant group.  They could be any piece in the mosaic that is Toronto.

close up of a sculpture by Tom Otterness of a family of three, mother, father and baby in arms. Father is carrying a suitcase. Title of sculpture is Immigrant Family

With a shoutout to Penny at Walking Woman since it was because of her blog post that I learned about the Otterness sculpture.

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