Photo By David Sepulveda
Beth Klingher "Pieces of the West River"
Blake Street Bridge, Westville Village
As you travel across the Blake Street Bridge in Westville, stop and consider the seven mosaic panels installed on the columns. The mosaics are a reflection and a reminder of the water and wildlife of the West River watershed below. Four of the mosaics symbolize the West River with the remaining panels representing botanical illustrations of three non-invasive native species:
• Broadleaf Arrowhead, or Sagittaria latifolia, is an aquatic plant that grows in shallow wetlands and has white arrowhead-shaped leaves.
• American Bur-reed, or Sparganium americanum, which looks somewhat like a grass, is an important conservation plant because of its ability to remove excessive nitrogen and phosphorus from wetlands.
• Speckled Alder, or Alnus incana, is a common wetlands tree that grows rapidly and is often used to help rehabilitate and enrich surrounding soil.
The mosaic panels were created by Beth Klingher, a mosaic artist who has installed a number of large-scale community and school-based projects throughout New Haven. Beth often works in conjunction with students and adults to design the illustrations and then, using glass or ceramic tiles, create the mosaics panels.
Beth spent ten years teaching math in New Haven Public Schools and now works as a teaching artist integrating math and art in classrooms across Connecticut. She is also a mosaic artist whose work combines a variety of materials - glass, ceramic, stone and pottery – to create abstract geometric designs, undulating landscapes, and playful patterns.
Beth’s other public work can be seen at the Worthington Hooker Middle School in New Haven and the Eli Whitney Museum in Hamden. The mosaic panels over the Blake Street Bridge were commissioned by the Westville Village Renaissance Alliance as part of a City of New Haven community grant.