Princess Amaradevi was created through the COMPAS ArtsWork program, which hires youth, ages 14-21 during the summer months to apprentice with professional artists in the Twin Cities. Sharra’s role as a Lead Mentor Artist was to interview and select apprentice applicants, train them into the art and business of mosaics and facilitate a collaborative, public art installation.
During the summer of 2007 Sharra and eight Apprentices, ages 14 to 19 worked together full time for six weeks to create a outdoor mosaic sculpture for the SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development, a non-profit children’s theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The six foot cement sculpture was made out of welded steel rebar, metal mesh and cement. The cement sculpture was then covered with a mosaic made of glass, beads and mirror.
The sculpture represents Princess Amaradevi, a Cambodian folktale character who symbolizes honesty and courage. The Steppingstone Theatre works to develop and support children in a diverse, non-competitive community. Young artist’s creativity, self expression and confidence is fostered and encouraged. The mosaic sculpture represents these important elements that define Steppingstone’s mission and continues to greet the young actors and visitors at the entrance of the theater.
This program included field trips to visit other artists and their studios. One of the artists was Josh Blanc, President of the Handmade Tile Association and owner of Clay Squared to Infinity in Northeast Minneapolis.
Another field trip to visit artist, Woutrina De Raad and her incredible sculpture garden in Beldenville, Wisconson.