La Luz de la Estrella
Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School, Phoenix, Arizona
4’ x 6’8”
Handmade clay tile mosaic with glass, gold-leaf (stars), and local stones
Located in the Ahwatukee suburb of Phoenix, this exterior artwork is a site-specific mosaic mural for the elementary school. The mosaic depicts an Arizona starry night over a desert landscape with a stylized view of the Ahwatukee valley featuring native trees. The work serves as a tribute to parent-volunteer and photographer, Michael White, who volunteered teaching art history and art appreciation (“the Masterpiece Program”) at his daughters’ school.
Since White’s favorite Van Gogh painting was Starry Night, Glen readapted the classic piece to a different landscape, and created a clay mosaic version that even replicated Van Gogh’s impasto technique. In painting, impasto is the thick application of paint on a surface so that the brush or knife strokes can be seen. To achieve the same visual effect, Glen shapes thick pieces of clay to interlock like large, wavy, impasto paint strokes adding surface texture and rich color. Luz Estelar is Spanish for “star light”, and La Luz del la Estrella is a mosaic that references both Van Gogh’s famous painting, Starry Night, and his characteristic style.