Arts In Education

Artist In Residence Programs


Click here to see a portfolio of past Artist In Residence mural programs.

Tile Mural: You know that vacant wall in your school that everyone from students to your superintendent says “That wall really needs something!”?

Well, you’ve found the perfect something; Symmetry Tile Works has been partaking in Artist in Residence programs in public and private schools for over ten years. The flagship of our A.I.R. programs is our Tile Murals. The entire school or just the graduating class will work together to create a beautiful permanent fixture for the school, to be marveled by everyone who passes by. Tile Murals can be installed both indoor and outdoor making the breadth of possibilities that much larger.

The theme of the mural can be determined by us or we can consult with you and your staff given our spectrum of possibilities to design a breath-taking installation.

Texture Workshop: If your school does not have the resources to conduct a tile mural program, our Texture Workshop might be the perfect fit. Our tile team will bring a mobile printing studio to your school,  giving each child the opportunity to explore our printing techniques. We can accommodate the entire school or just one grade level. The workshop can put an emphasis on the student’s current curriculum, be it a focus on sea-life or a lesson in rocks & minerals.

The students will be provided with practice slabs before creating their final piece which will be teleported back to our studio to be dried, glazed and fired, then returned to the school. The piece will become a keepsake of the child’s experiences in your school.

State Funded Grants: Robert Rossel has one of the most robust Artist In Residence programs in the state of New Hampshire. With the ability to provide a range of programs depending on budget, school resources and curriculum your students will have a unique opportunity to work with a professional  artist who has been a part of the State Council on the Arts for over eight years. Robert has left life-long impressions with over 30,000 children and teachers in dozens of school across New England.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a grant?

The best avenue to apply for a grant is by contacting the NH Council on the Arts directly. Visit the grant portion of their website here:

Robert Rossel is on the roster for A.I.R. programs at the NH Council on the Arts. There are several other organizations that provide grants for these programs, varying by state.

How far in advance do we need to start planning?

The earlier the better; we recommend getting started the school year before your desired timeframe. This gives all parties ample time to prepare. The grant writing and approval process can be lengthy and planning in advance also gives you a better chance at locking down the best date.

How many classes can Symmetry work with in one day?

We try to stick to the art class schedule to reduce disruption to the school schedule. Generally, we prefer to work with three or four classes a day.

Which age groups or grade levels can Symmetry work with?

Any and all; Kindergarten to High School.

How big of a school is too big?

No school is too large. We have accommodated schools with populations over eight hundred. Larger programs will generally take an additional week for each workshop.

What color palette can Symmetry offer?

For texture programs, to keep the cost and lost work down, we finish every tile in our sandstone finish. This also provides the ability to stack the tiles in the kiln, further reducing cost. For murals, we work in our matte finishes and also utilize recycled glass surfaces for colors. Most commonly, blue and greens.

If we want recycled glass surfaces, rather than matte finishes, what is the cost differential?

For murals, we include glass finishes in the overall cost. For texture programs if you want anything other than sandstone, the price will go up a few dollars per tile. This is because the extra materials and the fact that we have to take much better care in the handling and firing of glass tiles.

How long do the tiles take to print, dry, be glazed and fired?

Most students will print a tile in a matter of minutes.

For Texture Workshops: The tiles can be transported nightly back to our studio for drying if the project is local. If the project is long distance, we transport the printed tiles back to our studio upon conclusion of the printing workshop. Typically, the tiles will need to dry for approximately one week to get to the ‘bone-dry’ state. For glazing, we will bring all the student’s work back to our studio where we can apply the sandstone finish or teachers and volunteers may join us for a “glazing party”. We will fire the tiles over the course of another week to two weeks and return the completed works to the school.

For Tile Murals: When we arrive at the school we will lay the appropriate number of tiles out on tables with the basic outline of the design painted on the tiles with India ink. Each child will be assigned a tile to add texture and do select carving on. The tiles will remain laid out on the tables until every tile is printed. We will then pack the mural up and bring it back to the studio for drying. If you’ve chosen a robust mural program, we will bring the tiles back to the school after drying to allow the students to glaze them in the appropriate finish. Once again, the tiles will be brought back to our studio, where we will glass them prior to firing, or a group of teachers and volunteers may join us at our studio for a ‘glassing party”. Depending upon the size of the project we can fit the mural into our firing schedule over the following few weeks.

 About Symmetry Murals

Symmetry Tile Works thrives on its participation in local communities throughout New England. The Symmetry team has created dozens of ceramic tile murals that depict and integrate nature and the community itself. These murals are densely patterned with local flora, fauna and landmarks. The result is nothing short of stunning.

The goal is multifold: to communicate our own naturalist mentality to everyone on a personal level by fossilizing simple subject matter, while encouraging an understanding of both the process and its meaning. We aim to increase appreciation for the basic things that make up our complex lives and to increase understanding of the relationships that exist in all things around us. These murals become a living, breathing embodiment of the local culture & geography that will last for generations, continuing to communicate natural themes and uphold a message of sustainability. In murals, simple parts add up to complex statements and meanings. Our murals are created through the contribution of participants anywhere from 5 to 95 years old. The scene of the mural becomes a narrative transcended through the imprints of its contributors. In the end, the overall goal of every mural project is to send a message that our environment should be cherished, despite the limited time in which we have to enjoy it.

Mural Pricing

Our basic Mural Pricing Structure is as follows:

$30.00/ 6” tile

Artist Fee: $500.00/Day

Design Fee: $200.00

Mileage:  .50/Mile

Lodging:  $100/Night (If location is greater than 50 miles distance)

Installation of mural & Materials for indoor mural: $500/ day (takes 2 days to install most indoor murals) plus $120.00- $200.00 material cost.

For outdoor murals, the school is responsible for any substrate work on the walls in which the mural is intended to be mounted upon.  It is best to use backer board or cement board for a sound surface for the tiles to be adhered to.  This provides a weather proof surface that can get hot in the summers and cold in the winters, without damaging the mural.  The Symmetry team will be responsible for gluing the tiles up on the established and secure wall surface that the school designates for the mural. We will be available to consult and advise the contractor and school for the safe future of the mural.

Contact Us for availability of our program and to begin consultation.

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