But for one recent project, she layered her canvas with living, growing organisms.
"As an artist, I believe anything can be a medium," she says.
In this case, an oversized pot, some chicken wire and a bundle of succulent plants uprooted from a friend's garden. The end result is unexpected and odd: an inside-out pot, with the plants growing on the outside.
Coleman's pot design is part of a new public art project that speckles the streets of
She created it in collaboration with artist
"An artist should be able to take any medium and create something unique with their voice," says Coleman.
Mahorski was selected to paint one of
"I felt that
After years of planning, a handful of select artists finally completed the pots this summer.
Mahorski is also a master gardener who is fascinated by urban landscaping, which led her to a project that included plants and flowers as an art form. Most of the pots contain plants. (One pot in front of McGuckin Hardware is filled with metal garden decorations.)
Some artists coordinated flower colors with their pot design. Mahorski's pot is colorful, dramatic and bushy, with a butterfly bush, decorative grass, tea roses and petunias "that will smell good in the evenings," when The Dairy hosts many shows.
Bloomin' Arts will auction off the pots in September and donate the money to the
"People who've seen the pots absolutely love them," Mahorski says. "They think it's so refreshing, and it just adds so much energy to the town."
Coleman worked on another pot, too, located in
Many of Coleman's friends lost their art studios to the floodwater, and Coleman's parents' basement flooded, nearly wiping out all photos and memories of her childhood.
"I was able to rescue a few photographs, but it's this little, tiny bandwidth of my life," she says. "My daughter between 3 and 4 is documented to a T, but it's spotty everywhere else -- although I do have my prom picture."
The stripes across her pot symbolize not the actual disaster but the resettling into a new reality after turbulence, she says. The sediment that is left behind after the water recedes. The slices of life that survived.
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