Sirovich Center’s walls brought to life with nature murals

Section of panels from “Refracted Nature in Clay”

Panel from “Refracted Nature in Clay”

By Sabina Mollot

The Sirovich Center, a senior center on East 12th Street known for its popular ceramics classes, recently got a makeover, courtesy of its own members.

On June 19, the building’s spacious auditorium was outfitted with a dozen elaborately arranged mosaic panels, some of them reliefs, along the mezzanine level’s arched windows. The works of art, made with ceramics, glass, mirror and tile, were created over the past three years by senior artists as part of a program called SPARC (Seniors Partnering With Artists Citywide). After having been installed, they’re expected to remain in place permanently.

The large scale works were put on display by the center’s custodial staff, who’d rented scaffoldings in order to get the panels into the arches located on the building’s second level.

Artist Olivia Beens, who organized the project, titled “Refracted Nature in Clay,” for the last two years, said it completely transformed the look of the auditorium.

“It was a very bland kind of auditorium,” she said. But, she added, “The murals are going to be there forever as long as the building’s standing.”

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