Placemaking: A Mural

Placemaking is (as stated by Project for Public Spaces) “a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Put simply, it involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space, to discover their needs and aspirations.”

March – June 2012, Riley participated in a Placemaking internship with professional mosaic artist Karla Christensen.

The internship was aimed at strengthening community and enriching local culture via the creation and display of (public) art.  –Specifically, Karla and Riley brought together multiple generations for the shared experience of creating an 8′ X 10′  outdoor mosaic, “Tea and Scenery “on the south facing wall of Revelations Cafe in Fairfield, Iowa.

TEA AND SCENERY sketch by Karla Cristensen

The completed mural now serves not only to beautify the city, but as a reminder of just how inspiring and powerful collective vision can be.  


  • **Other aspects of the internship included:  gathering and overseeing volunteers of all ages,  writing press releases, and learning the technicalities of grant writing.