MIKE MANDEL MOSAIC TILE PUBLIC ART PROJECTS
Knoxville Convention Center - Knoxville TN, 2002
One inch porcelain tile
40' x 20'
The image for the mural derives from a photograph made by Jim Thompson in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of the Ramsay Cascades, c. 1930's. Ramsay Cascades is a series of ledges with water falling from about one hundred feet. The trail through this area winds through a spectacular grove of old growth poplar trees. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has the largest contiguous Old Growth forest east of the Rocky Mountains and is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to the Knoxville area.
At the bottom of the design, a woman stands in a contemplative pose, clearly contrasted with the rushing, bright water behind her. This regional landmark, a great waterfall, is now transformed into an image of a fountain for the Convention Center.
Fountains have been traditionally been built in large public spaces to provide an experience of visual and auditory repose, a rest from the business at hand. The Convention Center is a busy social place, and the mural provides a landmark suggestive of rest and tranquility.