JP Branch Library to add community mosaic

SUMNER HILL—A community-wide art collaboration is under way to create mosaic art for the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library.

A collaboration between ceramic artist and sculptor Bette Ann Libby and the community will result in a piece of ceramic artwork that will make its home in the library’s downstairs auditorium.

The piece will be designed and created with help and input from the JP community, Elisabeth Gillette, Friends of the JP Branch board member, said.

Fellow board member “Myrna [Balk] saw several other similar community-involved projects Bette Ann had done and realized that a mosaic made by neighbors here would be a great addition,” Gillette said.

Community members are asked to donate ceramic shards to the library for use in the project. They are also welcome to join Libby in the creation of the piece, scheduled for three dates in October.

“We’re happy to take all colors and patterns on glazed pieces,” Gillette said of ceramics donations. “For mosaic-makers, absolutely no experience is necessary, just a little time and enthusiasm.”

Libby is drawing up three possible designs—informed by the community, she said—for the piece. In September, she will present the designs to the community, which will make the final decision.

“Mosaics are a very community-building activity,” Libby said. “The library becomes a community center, it becomes bigger than a library. [The community] feels very proud about it. They’re invested in it.”

The Citywide Friends of the Boston Public Library provided the JP Branch with a grant that is funding the piece, Gillette said.

“Public buildings should have art in them. They should be welcoming,” Libby said.

Libby has done ceramic projects for the City of Brookline’s public library and Children’s Hospital Boston. Her website is

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