ProjectsArt ExchangesPublic Art – Cincinnati/Liuzhou Friendship Garden in LongTan Park (2008)

The Mosaic Plaza Medallions

The Cincinnati/Liuzhou Friendship Garden was realized in 2008 through a long-distance cooperation between professionals from both cities as a celebration of twenty years of cultural exchange within the context of the CinLiu Sister Cities relationship. Design and operations partners in Liuzhou’s beautiful LongTan Park cooperated with a probono design committee in Cincinnati to conceive of and develop the garden. The Cincinnati team included project manager Gerald Checco, founding co-sponsor and cultural facilitator Beth Tu Hoffman, Human Nature, Kolar Design, Jim Fearing, Dewey Hollister, and Jan Brown Checco. Jan’s exchange artist partner was He Zhenhai of Nanning. Each artist created a mosaic inlay for the two main plazas in the garden design. Other notable features were replicas of the Roebling Bridge and Eden Park Gazebo. The garden was dedicated in November 2008 with a colorful celebration in the garden that included a re-signing of the agreement of relationship between Cincinnati and Liuzhou, attended by a Cincinnati mayoral delegation of 80 travelers to China.

Jans’s Plaza Mosaic: “Ohio River Valley Portrait” (2008) The high places (spirals), low places, forests, fields and rivers (the blue bands) are overlain with man’s imprint of habitation and use. This basic “portrait” of the face of our homeland has not changed since the time when the only inhabitants were Native Americans. The beautiful face of Cincinnati bears the marks of our collective creative energy.

  • A discovery of serendipity: it wasn’t until the dedication voyage that Jan visited this extraordinary model of developing Liuzhou. It resembles her mosaic design, an aerial view on Cincinnati, designed for the Queen’s Plaza in the Cincinnati/Liuzhou Friendship Garden in Longtan Park.

  • The drawing and model study in ceramic on the worktable with the fullsized clay tiles, wet stage.

  • Fired and glazed tiles attached to the fiberglass mesh, ready for shipping to Liuzhou for installation.

  • Immediately upon arrival to Liuzhou, the Cincinnati delegation was whisked away to Longtan Park where we discovered the finished gardens, architectural structures and mosaics. Jan’s plaza inlay . “Ohio River Valley Portrait” is located beneath a garden folly that resembles the gazebo in Eden Park, Cincinnati

  • A detail of Jan’s installed plaza mosaic inlay

  • Assembled and ready for shipping, the fiberglass mesh beneath the mosaic is ready for cutting, labeling as puzzle pieces with diagram, and crating.

  • He Zhenhai, Jan’s artist exchange partner from Liuzhou, created a seal with flying phoenix and grids for the Dragon Plaza.