The Story of the “Tile Pixies” at The Gray Mockingbird GardenOnce upon a time, Jill Karlin gave birth to the idea of painting a tile mural for the Gray Mockingbird Community Garden in Lake Worth. Her concept was to recreate a “Garden of Eden” theme with the “Tree of Life” as its focal point. As the mural evolved, the depictions included all of Florida’s flora and fauna.
The project moved along slowly, and soon took on a life of its own. Jill needed help. She put out the word and, as only a “woman’s call to arms” can achieve, local artists and volunteers answered the call. Most of us had never met before, over the months that followed, more than thirty five people contributed to the making of the mural. Some only to paint leaves, others to do the tedious glazing of the 960 tiles.
Jill had opened “a door of creativity” for everyone, inviting them to bring their personality and artistry to the mural. One woman in particular had never done anything remotely artistic. Her forte was writing. Asked if she knew how to draw a “comma” she replied “Sure” She was promptly encouraged to pick up a brush, load it with green paint and make comma marks on the trees, hence, her trademark “comma leaves” were born.
Nicknamed the “Tile Pixies”, fourteen women in particular became the core group who stayed the course on the project from beginning to end. Their work began at the Scottish Rite Masonic building. Eventually, the tiles were moved to Jill Karlin’s garage, and for countless days and nights these artists worked together in the heat of summer. Laughter, whirling talent and camaraderie was palpable every time they gathered. In the end, all the tiles, paint, and glazing were brought to the home of one of the “pixies” for the mural to be completed while Jill went to England for the summer.
Months later, Jill returned from England to find that the pixies had all the tiles painted, glazed and ready for her to fire! Bless the Pixies! The finished mural is comprised of 960 6”x6” tiles….each one hand painted. It bespeaks the energy, labor, creativity, love, dedication and personality each person brought to it. Each drop of paint has a purpose.
The Tile Pixies Aidana Baldassarre, Anna Muttart, Barbara DeClerque, Buttons Brokovich, Chris Gostling, Jeannie Fernsworth, Lee Krull, Mary Steffan, MaryJane Canova, Rhonda Hewitt, Ruth Lynch, Sibyll Hoch, Susan Ona, Ursula Fernandez, Those Who Lovingly Took Part: Ana M. (Serita’s mom), AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt, Audrey, Bridgette, Debra Wynter, Doris Chafin, Greg Rice, JIF, Kaitlin Spinelli, Lenore Karlin, Lisa Freeman, Lori Rice, Mary Lindsey, Pam Nolan, Pam Triolo, Ron Cellilo, Serita M.(Ana’s daughter) Skylar, Summer and Coral Hoch (Sibyll’s little daughters,) Tammy Pansa, Terry Brokovich, Torom Mary Stephon. Blogger Comment. This was background story as it was being read at the dedication, but not completed. Thank you Terri and Buttons Brokovitch without their intervention, this project may never have seen the light of Day. Thank you to all the unsung Pixies and volunteers, should a name have been omitted please send it on and I will gladly edit for inclusion.