June 14, 2008

First, you pack everything into a U-Haul...

The smaller mural, on the Hoernel Key Shop

As finishing touches were put on Uptown's two wall mosaics Saturday morning, I fleshed out the backstory to one of the workers.

Muralist Isaiah Zagar had an assistant working to herd the many local volunteers who showed up to build the mural, a young woman named Angela Talle.

Angela Talle, one determined young artist

Angela was a young artist living in Minnesota when she decided she wanted to learn how to do mosaics from the master, Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia. So she wrote him, and sent along pictures of her work, asking for an apprenticeship.

Never got a reply.

So she did what any self-respecting, determined, 25-year-old artist would do: She packed all her stuff in a small U-Haul trailer, drove to Philadelphia and knocked on Zagar's door. Turns out, he had never received her initial mailing. This time, he liked what he saw, gave her an apprenticeship, which lasted for six months, and then a job ... and she's been making mosaics and murals ever since.

Angela is married now -- her husband, Adam, was here this weekend also, helping out on the Uptown mural. Angela mostly does smaller pieces today -- vases and so forth -- but has done four large wall murals and one smokestack mural in her hometown of Minneapolis.

Below are a few more photos of our murals.

Adam Talle, Angela's husband, does his part

Closeup of one of the "blobs" on the Hoernel mosaic

The mermaid on the larger mosaic mural

Our main story about Uptown's mosaic murals is HERE.


  1. Hi Pete,

    Great job on the photos!


  2. Thank God. Crime in this city will finally stop because of this beautiful art!!

  3. You focus your energy on crime and expect that people in Racine are "bad" and that's what you get. Or you focus your efforts on art and other forms of expression.

    Can you imagine that a group of "delinquent" teens can change their lives by writing journals? Read the "Freedom Writers' Diary". How about chess changing potnetial criminals into college students? Read "I chose to stay". When people are exposed to something different in their lives and given support to pursue their passions, crime will decrease.