This summer a group of Habitat homeowners have had a chance to explore their artistic sides, and learn a skill that will help them beautify their homes. They will also be leaving permanent artistic stamps on a wall on the Habitat campus — in the form of four colorful mosaic murals.

The homeowners have been using pieces of colorful tile crafted by artist Patrick Robertson. They choose from hundreds of pieces of varying sizes, shapes and colors, then glue them to a mosaic mesh. The final night (last of 5 classes) of the project will be Tuesday, July 25 at the Habitat offices, from 6 to 8 p.m. Some Habitat staff members will join in on the fun of making murals as well.

Robertson will assemble the pieces in August, attach them to four concrete boards, and hang the finished murals in the fall. There is no set pattern for how each homeowner makes his or her piece, and no plan for how they will be assembled. Patrick will use her artistic vision to see how they fit together. She has done the project before with other groups – most recently with Mount Tabor High School students — and somehow it always comes together.

In addition, the homeowners are learning something that will help them beautify their own homes, Robertson said. “The homeowners have really gotten in to this project. They have learned how they can use mosaics to add personal touches to their homes. They can use mosaics to decorate a flower pot, lamps, picture frames, even back splashes in a kitchen.”

The project was funded by a grant from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem. The murals will hang on a wall behind the Jimmy Johnson Volunteer Lodge on the Habitat campus. Each year, the lodge houses hundreds of college and high school students who come to Habitat during their school breaks, to do a week of community service building and remodeling houses, through the national Habitat Collegiate Challenge program. The murals will be visible to the students through large windows while they eat their meals in the dining room. (The lodge is also available for rent to faith organizations and other groups who would like to use it as a meeting or retreat center.)