Tessellation Tango

The finished mosaic mural.

Title: ‘Tessellation Tango’

Description: As the Primary Designer of this low-relief work, I later collaborated with Scott Frankenberger to fabricate, ship and install the work on the new forecourt face of the Math Science Research Institute building in Berkeley, California. Sir Roger Penrose was the special guest for the crowd of world scholars at the grand opening, for which we’d finished our 10-day installation just shortly before.

Medium: Handmade porcelain tiles (in only 2 rhomboid shapes) imprinted with numbers & odd number facts, broken commercial ceramic tile and protruding aluminum strips as a low-relief mosaic.

Year: I designed it in 2004, we made tiles in 2005 and installed them in 2006.

Dimensions: 5’ x  30’

This proposal (of two I submitted) was awarded the first place design prize in the MSRI competition from a field of national and some international entries.

The 30′ x 5′ design has 3 distinct areas:

  • A large area on the left side is based on a ‘3-D Cube’ pattern grid.
  • A small central transition area uses shapes from both patterns (but grids from neither)
  • A large area on the right side is based on a Penrose pattern grid
Close up of the two sections. The 3-D cube grid on the right & Penrose pattern on the left.

The 3-D Cube pattern

The gridded unit of positive metal lines and shapes creates a background grid, with larger negative space shapes made by removing adjacent grid units. Overlaid on (and in unison with) this background grid will be porcelain tiles, exposing the many interrelationships to be found within complex patterns. These color-glazed tiles highlight a myriad of pattern combinations made by connecting different units of the grid.

This clay tile area incorporates 2 different rhomboid shapes and three different ceramic glaze colors. Half to a third of these tiles were impressed with numerals and odd number facts (or relationships) for educational interest and additional texture.

The Central Area

The central area has more negative space and two similar but different ideas. One ‘cube’ of tiles from the 3-D cube pattern fits inside a raised metal hexagonal diagram extracted from that pattern. One cube from the Penrose pattern fits into a raised metal decagonal diagram extracted from the Penrose pattern.

The Penrose Pattern

This consists of a harder-to-imagine background base grid (created with positive shapes and raised metal lines), and more seemingly-irregular negative space shapes.

The immediate result is less of an organized appearance, but upon examination the Penrose pattern is discerned. Again overlaid on and in unison with this background, will be the glazed ceramic tiles, exposing even more interrelationships found within this complex pattern. The color tiles highlight the myriad of pattern combinations made by connecting different units of the Penrose grid. This clay tile area incorporates 2 different rhomboid shapes and three different main ceramic glaze colors, with 3 or 4 other glaze colors used as smaller highlights also. A third to half of these tiles will are also impressed with numerical information for additional visual texture and intellectual interest.

The tile and glaze colors are of a scheme chosen to work with the surrounding architecture and environment.

The tiles are roughly 6″ each. After all the handmade color tiles were put in place, the negative space was filled completely with broken bits of neutral tiles & grout.


profile faces made of metal by Ivy tech students

I designed this sculpture to be produced by the metal fabrication students at IVY Tech. I started by fabricating a “pattern” out of several pieces of plywood.

Using the materials they had on hand, the metal fabrication class at Ivy Tech here in Lafayette used the plywood shapes as a template and cut the shapes out of Aluminum panels. We mounted them onto the four steel posts.

Art Present

Art Present was a community art initiative I curated at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

“Art Present: A Mosaic of Community Gifts”

Installation Mosaic by Guest Artist Linda Vanderkolk

For the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette’s Centennial Year

An Installation/Auction Exhibition January 23 – March 21, 2009

Shown here: A few of the 600 on display in the East Gallery

                           (Any & All Artists: New works may be added until March 1st)

All art presents have been generously donated by our fine community of artists to raise funds ($5 minimum) in honor of the Art Museum’s Centennial Celebration. They presently await YOUR silent bid before the closing on March 21, to be purchased.

Please come and see us!
Visit the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette
(102 S. 10th St. entrance) in Lafayette, IN

Ice Pie Spirals

A photo of the glass tile mosaic, before it was completed.

“Ice Pie Spirals” is a 8’ x 12’ public art mosaic inside Tippecanoe County’s Klondike Elementary School. After seeing my “Ice Pie” mosaic, I was selected to be Klondike’s artist-in-residence for their 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. In a hall where students pass by daily on their way outdoors, a wall between windows overlooking a nature courtyard with a pond provided a perfect setting for another educational nature mosaic.  By providing endless hours of visual interest (playing ‘I spy …’) while waiting in lines, my environmentally-based mosaic could once again offer a fun access to nature enjoyment and awareness.

With the cooperation of retiring art teacher Lisa Ariano, I was able to engage the whole school community – a diverse population of students (900 kindergarten to fifth graders, during her art classes), teachers, and staff – in creating tesserae from recycled magazines. Searching and finding thousands of nature images and words, we then incorporated them via decoupage under tiny, small and medium round glass lenses. Everyone made one or more (including new 2015-16 students), while both Lisa and I made hundreds of others. We printed simple to complex nature vocabulary and used labeled images for educational purposes from old dictionaries and reference books to celebrate our natural world. Over many weekends and summer months, slowly but surely this ‘cool’ mosaic grew on the wall as I carefully crafted as many individual tesserae as possible into my design. I also created a second area for educational nature visuals, by painting NATURE in super graphics and using extra tesserae as the border around a nearby hall board. With the help of scout troops who meet at the school, educational information (from DNR materials, identification book pages, nature brochures, calendars or posters) can change monthly.

Endorsed as a Legacy Project by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission in 2016, I consulted area nature groups and experts to include over 200 important flora and fauna native to Indiana: mammals, amphibians, trees, fruit, reptiles, plants, fish, birds, insects, flowers, places, etc. Collaborative public art projects like these perfectly integrate my interests in community, art, education and environment. My hope is to inspire a new generation with environmental appreciation to perhaps help counteract the destructive climate changes of global warming on our planet’s ecosystems, for a more sustainable future for earth.          -Linda Vanderkolk

Lenaswa – The Bison

N. Ninth Street Bicentennial Bison –
Celebrating the Past, Looking to the Future

Artists: Linda Vanderkolk, Sunny Miller at their Bicentennial Bison unveiling, 9th & Main, Lafayette. May 5 2016. Photo by Charles Jenks

Artists Sunny Miller and Linda Vanderkolk’s, bison will be displayed on North 9th Street Road in front of Undercover Storage. Miller and Vanderkolk took a “native” approach for their theme and went with the Miami Tribe name Lenaswa meaning Bison. The Miami Tribe extended their cultural roots deep into the soil of the Wabash River Valley, hunting, cultivating, fishing, cooking, building, trading and sharing wisdom to sustain their communities.

via Indiana Bicentennial Tippecanoe County committee
The Bison-tennial Bison project was organized by Indiana Association of United Ways (IaUW), statewide, in partnership with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. This officially endorsed legacy project celebrated Indiana’s rich and diverse history and unique features. The bison are 5-foot-tall by 8-foot-long fiberglass bison on 2-foot-bases and will be displayed throughout 2016, Indiana’s Bicentennial year. Many of the bison highlighted will be along the Bicentennial Torch Relay route, October 12, 2016, in Tippecanoe County.


Dog Days of Summer sculptures hit streets of Greater Lafayette
By Christy Jones, Purdue University News Service
Posted May 6, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Ranging from artistic to scientific, life-size decorated dog statues are popping up throughout the Greater Lafayette area as part of the Dog Days of Summer art project.

The project, which officially opens on Saturday (May 9), is a partnership between the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. It highlights the 50th anniversary of the School of Veterinary Medicine and the 100th anniversary of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, both of which are being celebrated this year.

– via Lafayette-Online
Psychedogic – photo by Journal and Courier

  • My entry for Dog Days of Summer: Psychedogic
  • This piece was chosen by the Art Museum to be the raffle dog from all of the dogs entered.
The dog was generously loaned by the raffle winner, Susan Cray, for display in the museum exhibition.