Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

CoExist Glass Gallery hopes to build community through mosaic mural project in Steelton

Owner Shawn Gold of CoExist Glass Gallery in front of a sign outside the gallery in Steelton.

A small building on Front Street in Steelton will soon become the canvas for a colorful work of art.

The CoExist Glass Gallery will piece together a mosaic mural this summer, with help from global and local artists and community members.

“It’s my passion to build community,” said Shawn Gold, owner of CoExist. “I wanted to do something that a lot of people could contribute to.”

Gold was inspired after a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he met local mosaic artist Natasha Moraga. He loved how she created street art that is accessible to the community and decided to bring that concept to Steelton.

The “CoExist in Kindness” mosaic will cover the building on S. Front Street in Steelton. Artists like Moraga and Carrie Strope, from Nebraska, will contribute to the mural, along with other artists from across the globe.

But Gold really wants the mosaic to reflect the community in Steelton and hopes that residents will participate in the process as well. He especially hopes to involve the youth in the borough.

“Murals bring very positive attributes to the city,” he said. “They create pride and ownership.”

The CoExist Glass Gallery on S. Front St. will be covered in a mosaic mural in late August.

The mural will cover three sides of the building and feature designs including flowers, insects, “Steelton,” and the Golden Gate Bridge, which the old Bethlehem Steel Mill in the borough helped to build, Gold said. Artists will also incorporate the phrase, “A tradition of building bridges.”

Anyone, experienced or not, is invited to submit mosaic art to the gallery, Gold said. On the gallery’s website, they have tutorial videos to learn how to create mosaics. So far, the response from the community and artists around the world has been great, he said.

The gallery is welcoming submissions until July 1. The mural will be started in late August and take about a week to finish.

According to Gold, this is just the start of a series of community projects. CoExist has future plans to create a historic walking tour that will feature mosaic installations throughout the city that highlight historic locations.

They will also hold a Mardi Gras festival in July with food and music.

Gold hopes to partner with local schools to include art programs for youth in Steelton, as well. For him, promoting positivity is key.

“It’s all about creating a spotlight back on Steelton,” he said.

The CoExist Glass Gallery is located at 310 S. Front St., Steelton. For more information about the “CoExist in Kindness” project or to submit a mosaic, click here.

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