In the summer of 2020, the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy participated in a public art event known as Roseville in Bloom, which featured twenty unique rose statues to be displayed at various locations throughout Roseville. Our staff had the privilege to work with public artist Daniela (Dani) Bianchini, who designed and created a rose sculpture entitled Blossoming Tesserae, which is currently displayed outside our Twin Cities Metro Learning Center.
As the pandemic continued into 2021 and in-person training remained on hold, our empty facility and bare walls became the ideal location for an experienced mosaic artist. Working with the nature-themed titles given to our training rooms, as well as the organic style of the Training Academy’s branding, Dani set out to create designs that would encourage and inspire our future learners.
She told us, “I wanted to make sure the colors and the scenes were peaceful. I wanted to convey serenity and a calm environment.” The completed designs convey many of her intentions, and help to create a welcoming and hospitable learning space. Dani started on the third floor with our largest training space, called the Oak Training Room. “We wanted to represent the names of each conference room, so the designs were somewhat obvious.”
Each mosaic took about one month to complete. Although the mosaics vary in size, some have more intricate cuts than others. The mosaics are located in gathering spots in our training spaces, such as where beverages or training materials are provided, and allow for an up close look at the thousands of ceramic and glass pieces that create each work.
The second mosaic was based on the Training Academy logo, and is located in the Learner Lounge on the first floor. This was followed by the Balsam Training Room, the Lilac Conference Room, and the Lupine Conference Room. Dani shared that “My hope for all my mosaics is that people realize the intricacy of mosaic art.” These small and delicate details also manage to demonstrate a love for Minnesota’s indigenous flora, and by extension, an appreciation for the connections that people share.
We were also pleased to hear how Dani found ways to connect her art to the children and families involved in the child welfare system. “I feel like there is that metaphoric correlation to life itself. How every individual little piece makes a beautiful work of art when connected to others,” she told us. “We are individual little pieces of the mosaic and when connected as a society, we make beautiful things happen.”
Dani completed the final mosaic for the Birch Training Room by late 2021. “I am very thankful for the opportunity to create these murals for the Training Academy. I truly hope everyone enjoys them.” In-person training has resumed, and we are excited to welcome learners into this space.