“If you involve the community, then it belongs to the community” ~ Pedro Pablo Silva

Pedro Pablo Silva, was a Chilean-born artist who in 1981 sculpted a mosaic dragon, a 150 foot sculpture here in Nashville, TN. The mosaic adorns Fannie Mae Dees Park, across the street from where I work at Vanderbilt University. We call the park “Dragon Park”.

Mr. Silva studied in Chile before he came to New York on a Pan-American scholarship to study art at Columbia University. Early on in his career, Mr. Silva became enamored with public art, creating sculptures for various playgrounds in Manhattan and Harlem.

The mosaic dragon undulates out of the ground as if it were ripples of waves at the beach. More than 1000 members of the community helped design and install the mosaics .

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“If you involve the community, then it belongs to the community,” he told The Tennessean at the time. “So we made sure everyone was invited to help with the mosaics. Everyone has done a jigsaw puzzle, and doing mosaics is even easier than that.”

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Manhattan Benches

 Sadly, Pedro Pablo Silva died June 20, 2013 at 78 years of age.