Mosaic Garden Adds Beauty to Downtown Marlinton
It began as the brainchild of Chris Bartlett and Anne Walker, both members of the Pocahontas County Arts community. Cynthia Gurreri, President of the Pocahontas County Arts Council, says they wanted to create a mosaic-themed garden in front of the 4th Avenue Arts Gallery that is located in the former train depot in downtown Marlinton.
Gurreri was able to secure a donation from Liquid Mind Media, a small company in Charlottesville, Virginia to provide the startup funds for the project. When they discovered that the project would need considerably more funding, they also got a matching grant from the Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition and additional money from the PC Arts Council. But even with the funding secured, Gurreri said every layer of the project came with its own challenges. She says Bartlett kept to her vision and worked through each obstacle.
The garden includes several raised beds which are decorated with blocks of colorful pieces of glass, pottery, marbles and even fossils donated by one of the many volunteers who worked on the project. Bartlett says the overall theme running through the garden is a flowing river, a tribute to the nearby Greenbrier River that runs through the town.
Many of the plants in the garden are perennials planted by Anne Walker as part of a pollinator garden. The Family Resource Network has added colorful fall blooms and there are large dedicated flower pots that are maintained by local civic groups. The mosaic garden project began in early spring and was mostly complete by the time of the dedication ceremony on September 22nd – just in time for the return of the Autumn Harvest/Roadkill Cookoff festival to Marlinton, following a two-year long cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other partners in this beautification project include Strong Communities in Mercer County, the Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition, Day Report, Pocahontas County Family Resource Center, the Depot Committee, the Town of Marlinton beautician committee, and Vista Brad Armstrong. Also thanks to Cris Bartlett and Joseph Lizotte and volunteers who put in many hours of labor to complete the project.