Fort Myers Artist Eve Lynch of Kraken Mosaics organized the undertaking, which she called “The Messina Mural Project.”
The Messina Children’s Center is a non-profit child care center on Fowler Street operated by Child Care of Southwest Florida, which also operates a facility in Lehigh Acres.
Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center Director Tammy Aronson sent out a call to artists last year to help transform the large outdoor environment into a natural “playscape.” Lynch responded to the call and started rallying mosaic artists from throughout the world using the social media site Flickr.
“Within a few days of my posting, 20 artists from all over the world agreed to contribute and within the next few months my mailbox was flooded with beautiful artwork depicting local wildlife and themes that would engage children. I even had a 7-year-old from Philadelphia make and contribute a colorful mosaic of her handprint,” Lynch said
Donations were received from countries as far away as the United Kingdom, Germany, St. Lucia and Canada.
Lynch then began laying out the mosaics in small groupings on the outdoor walls along a sunny breezeway named “Linda Lane” after Child Care of Southwest Florida Development Director Linda McNabb.
“We are so thankful to Eve and her army of mosaic artists. Because of their vision, the installation instantly transformed the space into a vibrant, tropical art space, adding to the creative atmosphere that we began months ago,” Aronson said.
“The Messina Mural Project has come to life in the form of a permanent outdoor art gallery,” Lynch added. She also maintains a blog about the project with pictures at messinamural.blogspot.com/.
The Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center is located at 4650 Fowler Street and is one of very few centers that offer evening care. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center is nationally accredited and is licensed to care for 105 children. For more information, call Aronson at 239-278-1148.
Eve Lynch with some of the donated mosaics