Photo Gallery: Dinand Library’s Exterior Spaces Are Reenergized with Art, Rooftop Garden

Tile mural and mosaic installations represent collaborative work of students, College, and neighborhood community

The exterior of Dinand Library has seen many new changes this year, including the construction of a rooftop garden and the addition of two art installations in the library’s exterior spaces. The garden is now open for use and a joint dedication of the installations was held for students, alumni, Holy Cross and extended community members on April 20.

The garden, located over the west wing of the library, is a new serene outdoor space for students to study and congregate, overlooking the hills of Worcester. The renovation of the previously unused space was made possible with donations from the Class of 1990 in celebration of their 25th reunion.

The garden became even more welcoming after becoming the home of the newly installed and dedicated tile mural “Lungs of the Planet.” The mural was constructed by the roughly 120 first-year students that make up the Natural World Montserrat cluster, in collaboration with the visual arts department, Worcester Center for Crafts, Dinand Library, and the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery; the project was spearheaded by Virginia Raguin, Distinguished Professor of Humanities and professor of visual arts.

The permanent mural stretches 8 feet high and 12 feet wide, depicting a pair of lungs with trachea that transform into tree branches that support various flowers and birds; the polychromic background is made up of tiles carrying images of blossoms, fruit, animals, and chemical diagrams to symbolize the cycle of life.

The Montserrat students, as well as 20 additional students from other class years and a range of Holy Cross faculty and staff, worked on the expansive project — from tracing images using carbon paper and painting the tiles, to packing the tiles to be fired off-campus and attaching them to backing boards before they were mounted by building and grounds professionals at the College.

Additionally, a rededication also celebrated the colorful “Civitas Branching” mosaic which was installed on the wall of the Dinand Library plaza over the east wing of the building. The mosaic, which was created 12 years ago by 14 Holy Cross students and 13 members of the surrounding neighborhood community, represented the cooperation between the two and was previously installed on the former College Hill Civic Association Building on Kendig Street. With the recent repurposing of the building into a Habitat for Humanity home, the mosaic was relocated to Holy Cross and received a second dedication.

The six-paneled ceramic and glass tile mosaic, which stands three feet tall by 24 feet wide, depicts an apple and pear tree, representing Holy Cross and the neighborhood community respectively, with branches reaching towards each other, intertwining. The other four panels show scenes set in each of the four seasons.

The April 20th joint dedication featured short presentations on the history and process of constructing the works, both of which represent hours of work done collaboratively by faculty, staff, students, and friends of the College.