_ This vibrant mosaic mural was created by nearly 200 area residents at the Cattaraugus County Arts Council under the artistic direction of acclaimed clay artist and art instructor, Gilda Oliver. This large-scale community art project was part of a series of AmeriCorps community service opportunities coordinated by the arts council.
For six weeks during the summer of 2011, volunteers of all ages helped to create beautiful ceramic tiles to contribute to the piece. Children and their families made hundreds of colorful animals and plants that were fired, glazed, and then placed within the mosaic. To complete the jungle scene, small square tiles and glass beads were cemented down and then colored grout was used to fill in the gaps.
In addition to workshops at the arts council, volunteer sessions were conducted with community members from the Portville Free Library, the King Memorial Library, the Seneca Nation of Indians, the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES program, and The ReHabilitation Center of Olean.
This project was made possible through support from the Cattaraugus County Youth Bureau, Champions for the Challenged, the Courage Unlimited Corporation, Dal-Tile, Pierce Steel Fabricators, Inc. and the Southern Tier AmeriCorps Resource Team.
The mural was on loan to St. Bonaventure University's Quick Center for the Arts in 2012 and was donated and permanently installed at Olean General Hospital in 2013.