The following is a preview from the July 2019 issue of The Scoop, the quarterly printed magazine for Dal-Tile team members. The issue will be mailed to team members’ home addresses and posted in PDF format to myMohawk later this month.
Many things make up a community: the people, the neighborhoods, the buildings and the landmarks that define them. In one San Francisco neighborhood this spring, Dal-Tile played a part in bringing together a community to create a special landmark.
A year and a half ago, local artist Ross Holzman of the non-profit Create Peace Project (www.createpeaceproject.org) reached out to Sales Representative Ashraf Benjamin and Regional Vice President of Sales (Northwest Region) Jim Lane to see if Dal-Tile could help with a community project he was hoping to create.
“We get calls all the time from schools, artists and non-profits asking for help with projects,” Benjamin said. “He explained his plan to bring the Longfellow Elementary School community in San Francisco together to create a massive mosaic mural, to act as a landmark for their neighborhood. We were able to provide him with the tile he needed at a discount, and he stressed how important it was to him that we were also involved in other ways to show our support for the community.”
Benjamin visited the art installation site, and was touched by what he saw — hundreds of families and neighbors working together to complete the project on one community day. The mural was created by 550 students of Longfellow Elementary in conjunction with the Create Peace Project team.
“It was very moving for me to witness this community supporting something that beautified the area while uniting them together,” Benjamin said. “The mosaic has the phrase, ‘Together We Can Make a Difference,’ within it, which is a wonderful message for a community and a testament to what they hope to achieve.”
Dal-Tile products make up a large portion of the tile used to create the art piece, and as a thank you for the team’s help in making the mosaic a reality, the artist included the Dal-Tile name in the mural itself.
“The project has created a landmark for that community, and Dal-Tile helped make that happen,” Benjamin said. “I’m proud that we could help this neighborhood create something that is important to them.”
The mosaic mural was completed in sections by volunteers from the San Francisco community. Above, Benjamin and Alicia Aleman, principal of Longfellow Elementary, worked on a flower section.
The mural took approximately three months to complete. It measures 2,500 square feet, over two walls on a city block.