Kennedy Mosaic

citizen group shot

citizen 1

The family of Samuel V. Kennedy III, and the Board & members of Auburn Community Players Theatre wanted to create a public art memorial in Sam’s honor. They approached me about project managing, and I was delighted for the opportunity. Seeing that Sam served as the managing editor of the Auburn Citizen-Advertiser newspaper, and was also responsible for the creation of the Auburn Prison newspaper a few doors down on State Street, I approached the Publisher of The Citizen about using their west wall for a mosaic installation.


The Citizen staff was game, and June 2013 work dates were set. I thought the Tree of Life would be the perfect design to commemorate Sam’s life, and then contracted with local artist & enthusiastic partner Jessie Reich to paint the outline to help guide the volunteers’ process. Since the wall surface was pebbled, we had to frame and install four cement board panels to work on. I cannot thank Zarin Kinsella enough. He had the tools, skills and know-how to pull this off correctly, there’s no question we could not have done this project without him.

The install was slow, with rain coming down or threatening on all days, and it took two weekends instead of one to finish. I also contracted with ceramic artist Jen Gandee to create specialty leaf tiles, which offer more detail about Sam’s life accomplishments. Community Mosaic Project Partner Dave Tobin, as always, was crucial in getting unique supplies, making the adhesive and grout mixing & coloring, supplied graciously by Whiting’s Paint & Floor Coverings. Big thanks also go to The Citizen & Angelo’s Pizza for providing food & drinks for our hard-working volunteers of all ages.

To learn more about this project please visit Art for Auburn on Facebook.

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