Dyani White Hawk and Mercury Mosaics Tiles at The Whitney Museum

Dyani White Hawk and Mercury Mosaics Tiles at The Whitney Museum

Experience the monumental blend of art and sustainability in “Nourish” by Dyani White Hawk brought to life through Mercury Mosaics handmade tiles. Dive into the teamwork, green mindset, and top-notch craft that went into this amazing mosaic work of art. 

In the heart of the Whitney Museum of American Art's Studio Bar, there's a new mosaic art installation that's grabbing everyone's attention. It's called "Nourish," by Dyani White Hawk who partnered with Mercury Mosaics to bring her artistic vision to life. This piece isn't just a work of art; it's all about collaboration, sustainability, and craftsmanship.

Courtesy of Dyani White Hawk and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Creating a Partnership with Dyani White Hawk

Mercury Mosaics and Dyani White Hawk teamed up for "Nourish," showcasing a partnership based on respect and creativity. Their collaboration began with random run-ins between White Hawk, working in Northeast Minneapolis, and Mercury Mosaics' owner, Mercedes Austin. These chance meetings sparked talks of collaboration and future partnerships. When White Hawk had the chance to work on a ceramic mosaic project for the Whitney Museum, she saw it as an opportunity to team up with a local artist-owned business. It was all about lifting each other up and supporting the community.

Highlights of the Artistic Collaboration

Throughout the collaboration, Dyani White Hawk's visionary approach and Mercury Mosaics' commitment to craftsmanship were the perfect match, creating a mosaic masterpiece that goes beyond artistic limits. White Hawk's talent for dreaming up celestial ideas while paying close attention to small details struck a chord with Mercury Mosaics, igniting a mutual commitment to excellence.

Bringing White Hawk's artistic vision to life as a mosaic took a lot teamwork and precision from both teams. It needed careful planning and hard work from everyone. From Sara Tonko's management of scheduling to Alyse Emanuel's translation of White Hawk's renderings into workable shapes and colors, each member played an important role in bringing the mosaic to life.

But the teamwork and collaboration didn't stop there; it involved partnerships with fabricators, installers, and the Whitney Museum. With everyone's dedication, they not only brought White Hawk's vision to life but also strengthened bonds and took mosaic art to new levels.

Prioritizing Sustainable Art

Mercury Mosaics and Dyani White Hawk showed a strong dedication to sustainability in making "Nourish." They used 40% recycled materials, making sustainability a top priority. Instead of throwing away imperfect tiles, Mercury Mosaics embraces their imperfections and used them in the artwork. This not only gave the artwork depth but also showed their commitment to sustainability in art and craft.

Sustainability wasn't an afterthought for "Nourish"; it was central to the artwork's creation. It came from years of deliberate effort and respect for materials. Knowing the Whitney Museum has LEED Gold Certification, Mercury Mosaics made sure their materials and methods met environmental standards. The result? A gorgeous mosaic that proves art and sustainability can go hand in hand, showing how creativity and care can make a difference.

The Artisan Handmade Tile Process

Behind the scenes, our skilled tile artisans worked hard to bring "Nourish" to life. Our handmade process focused on precision and attention to detail. Every tile is shaped and placed with artistic integrity and craftsmanship. One of the highlights of this process was learning to navigate each other's artistic processes. Dyani's expertise lies in paint, beadwork, and quillwork, all rooted in Lakota aesthetic traditions. But, designing a piece made of ceramic tiles was a new experience.

To bridge this gap, the two teams worked together. Our tile artisans found innovative ways to blend her vision into the mosaic by offering creative solutions. We even used waterjet cutting from JIT Companies to create more precise tile shapes. White Hawk chose 2" right triangles to make abstract patterns inspired by Lakota history and visual language. 

The collaboration included new methods, like printing patterns and cutting them out. This helped White Hawk try different designs on paper. It made decisions easier and helped everyone understand each other's work better. The result was a collaborative artwork that evokes feelings of peace, reflection, and nourishment.

Unique and Customizable Tile Offerings

At Mercury Mosaics, we're known for our  custom tile and vibrant color palette. "Nourish" is where we show our versatility and dedication to handmade craft. Working with Dyani White Hawk, each tiny mosaic piece blends seamlessly into the artwork as a whole. Together, we've created a truly unique installation, showcasing the endless creative possibilities of our medium.

White Hawk carefully chose colors for "Nourish," highlighting the importance of collaboration. She had access to Mercury Mosaics' wide color palette to match her vision. This ensured the colors truly reflected White Hawk's style. Her design guided every step of color selection, from exploring options to approving digital and physical samples.

For Mercury Mosaics, this collaboration reignited our passion for innovation. It also reaffirmed our commitment to artistic integrity. "Nourish" sparked a deeper exploration of our artistic roots. Looking ahead, we're inspired to carve out a unique path in the art world with tile as our medium. We'll embrace imperfections and new territories while nurturing our craft's potential. This partnership shows how collaboration can drive innovation and shape our artistic pursuits as a company.

Inspiring Future Custom Tile Mural Projects

As "Nourish" by Dyani White Hawk finds its home in the Whitney Museum, it's more than just a captivating artwork. It's a spark for future creativity in high-end custom projects. This collaboration shows how fresh perspectives and innovative ideas can push artistic boundaries, inspiring new approaches. White Hawk's goal is to evoke warmth and connect visitors with the heart and soul in every layer of the artwork, fostering a deeper appreciation for the creative process.

Looking forward, this collaboration has us excited for the future of tile design and installation, both artistically and commercially. Our goal is to foster genuine connections and relationships through our design process. We're moving beyond mere transactions to create meaningful experiences.

At Mercury Mosaics, we work closely with architects, designers, and artists worldwide to enhance mosaic design. Our goal is to nurture artistic visions and push boundaries in both artistic and commercial contexts. This collaboration reflects our shift towards a more holistic design approach. We prioritize blending creativity with meaningful connections to enrich the artistic landscape for the future.

Courtesy of Dyani White Hawk and the Whitney Museum of American Art

Mercury Mosaics Mosaic Mural Collaboration with Artist, Dyani White Hawk

The unveiling of "Nourish" represents more than just a collaboration – it's a celebration of artistry, sustainability, and the transformative power of creativity. As visitors marvel at its beauty, they are reminded of the endless possibilities that arise when visionary artists and skilled craftsmen come together in pursuit of a shared vision. We’d love to invite you to check out more of our custom projects in our gallery or find out more about our custom design process.

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