Tea ceremony honors Columbia artist at city hall

Monday, November 18, 2013 | 9:23 p.m. CST; updated 10:26 p.m. CST, Monday, November 18, 2013
Norleen Nosri presented her recent artwork, a set of dozens of ceramic teacups, Monday at city hall. The teacups are meant to represent the members of Columbia's community, she said.

COLUMBIA — A tea ceremony was held before the Columbia City Council meeting on Monday to honor local artist Norleen Nosri, whose artwork has been installed in city hall.

Nosri made a set of ceramic teacups to represent the Columbia Water and Light Department, Sarah Dresser, program specialist in the Office of Cultural Affairs, said. The teacups will be on display on the fourth floor, where the department is located.

The dozens of teacups are intended to represent the people that make up a community, Nosri said.

Mayor Bob McDavid and members of City Council handed the cups to people attending the ceremony. After drinking the tea, the attendees set down the cups in a large, sculpted base.

The installment is part of the city's Percent for Art project, which funds public art in Columbia. It is the final Percent for Art installment to be put in city hall. Other works of art are on display on each floor of the building, representing different city departments.

"My work comes from the feeling of gratitude, thankful for being able to do what I love and living in this community that has supported me from the very beginning," Nosri said.

JJ Musgrove, director of the Office of Cultural Affairs, said that public art has brought many benefits to the community of Columbia.

"Public art is an expression of what we as a community think is important," Musgrove said. "It's not just about the art, it's about humanity."

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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