Mosaic officially unveiled in Weirton

The recently completed mosaic, designed by local artist Elaine Klar and using pieces of Homer Laughlin Fiestaware, was officially unveiled during a reception Friday at Cove Commons. The mosaic began as part of plans for last year’s inaugural Gate 5 Industrial Arts Festival. (Photo by Craig Howell)

WEIRTON — A new artistic element for the Weirton community officially was unveiled Friday, following a year of planning and work by area residents.

Along a wall of Cove Commons, and incorporating pieces of broken Fiestaware pottery donated by Homer Laughlin China, the completion of the new mosaic was celebrated with a reception.

The project was designed and spearheaded by local artist Elaine Klar, initially as part of plans for the inaugural Gate 5 Industrial Art Festival held in 2018. Klar noted a project incorporating Fiestaware had been suggested by Judy Noble, who had been on the festival committee when it launched.

The original idea was for a project contributed to by area high school students, but Klar said she didn’t want to limit participation.

“I wanted the whole community to be involved,” Klar explained.

Klar said the mosaic helps to showcase some of the community’s history in a simplistic, yet artistic, way. Beginning with the original Holliday’s Cove settlement, the artwork depicts Holliday’s Cove Fort, along with orchards and animals to showcase the area’s agrarian beginnings.

It then transitions with a large gear-shaped design and the year 1947, denoting when the City of Weirton was incorporated, before showing the industrial aspects of the town with some of the older steel manufacturing facilities and the basic oxygen plant which was demolished earlier this year.

“It’s to show the rich and wholesome history of Weirton,” Klar said, noting some of the youth who assisted with the mosaic were not aware of Holliday’s Cove.

Another section includes a variety of designs, with some also being nods to local art and industry, including the Peter Tarr Furnace and a depiction of artist Andy Warhol, who Klar noted had a large collection of Fiestaware.

Klar expressed her appreciation to Homer Laughlin for contributing the pieces of china for use in building the mosaic, as well as to everyone who assisted in placing pieces into the design or showing support in other ways.

“I’ve got a long list of people to thank,” she said.