Mural of mosaic hearts to show diversity, community in Orlando

By : Melanie Ararat
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ORLANDO | A mural of more than 800 mosaic hearts, made by artists from around the world, has been created in Orlando in support of the LGBTQ community.  The mural, which is located on the exterior wall of The Lamp & Shade Fair at 1336 N. Mills Ave., was installed throughout August and early September.

The mural’s hearts form a large, colorful rainbow floating away from a silhouetted figure blowing kisses. Washington State artist Jennifer Kuhns and Orlando artist Cherie Bosela, owner of Luna Mosaic Arts, collaborated on this project. The mural is not a commissioned project. An online fundraiser was created to help pay for the installation and travel expenses.

A smaller version of the mural was recently installed by Kuhns on the wall of a high school for at-risk teens in Shelton, Wash. Kuhns began working with Bosela to create something larger and more ambitious for the Orlando version. Kuhns and Bosela hope that the mural will help give a voice to allies of the community targeted by the Pulse shooting.

“It is just something Cherie and I wanted to do: to create a mural that stands as a message of hope and support for the LGBTQIA community, and anyone who feels marginalized or lives in fear of hate and violence simply because of who they are,” Kuhns said in a press release. “We wanted to create an opportunity for others who agree to join in the message, to add their voice through mosaic hearts, financial support and by taking selfies in front of the silhouetted figure and sharing them in perpetuity.”

After the installation is completed, any remaining funds will be donated to The LGBT+ Center Orlando. A public dedication of the mural will take place on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan is scheduled to attend.

Photo courtesy Jennifer Kuhns.

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