Recently at the Andrews Middle School, art and learning came together, taking center stage as a Mosaic was unveiled depicting Medford’s natural history, entitled, “Medford’s Flora and Fauna: Mystic to the Fells”. The mosaic was a collaborative effort created by the Andrews students, art teacher, parents, and staff, which came together with artist David Fichter to develop this work of art. Peter Gallagher, the Andrews art teacher, worked with students in grades 6, 7, & 8 to research, plan, draw, and create the 12’ X 5’ permanent mosaic. The students were requested to design a mosaic that reflected Medford’s rich natural environment; learn the glass mosaic techniques and demonstrate through permanent public art, the installation of the mosaic highlighting the natural beauty found within the City of Medford.
Artist David Fichter oversaw the artistic direction and helped to guide the project, by working with students in creating the mosaic. Mr. Fichter, via a state funded STAR (Students and Teachers Working with Artists, Scientists and Scholars) grant, from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, helped the students learn about the unique natural history found in Medford, which features the flora and fauna of the Mystic River and the Middlesex Fells. He taught mosaic techniques and processes, as well as, cementing and grouting the mosaic mural, which is located on the lobby wall of the school. Mr. Gallagher’s students created design drawings and Mr. Fichter utilized those drawings to create the final mosaic design. The school building staff contributed as well, by building a wood framework which allowed the mosaic panels to be affixed to the wall in the school lobby.