Pillars of Knowledge

Clarendon Elementary School, Phoenix, Arizona
9’ x 3’ each, total surface area for all 3 pillars is 285sf
Mixed media mosaics including handmade clay pieces adhered to round columns


Glen worked with students, teachers, and community members and covered three 9 foot painted pillars with mosaic tile. Each grade had a pillar with a specific theme that corresponded to their curriculum. The fourth grade pillar had AZ History and the created representations of Arizona heritage, which included indigenous plants and animals. The fifth grade pillar references US History. And the sixth grade pillar focuses on Ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Greece. This project complied with the Arizona Visual Arts standards.


Using course materials and inspired by class discussion, Glen worked with each grade to identify a list of images to include. Arizona imagery for fourth grade includes: pueblo, Native American baskets, cattle, cotton, native animals and plants, agriculture, and fruit. The color scheme was primarily earth and clay. For fifth grade, images representing the United Sates include: eagle, bell, books, Declaration of Independence, quill, Columbus. Sunset colors were used for this mosaic. Sixth grade focused on Ancient imagery, and their ideas were influenced by Egyptian, Mayan, and Aztec iconography. The dominant colors for this pillar mosaic are yellow and gold. An Egyptian-stylized cat is the focal point of this column.