Oregon District memorial mosaic now complete

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After weeks of planning and community participation, a memorial designed by the Mosaic Institute in Dayton is complete. Titled Nine Doves, it honors the victims of the Oregon District shooting.

“It has been an incredible journey creating this thing,” said Jes McMillan, executive director of the Mosaic Institute.

One piece and one person at a time, people from all walks of life created this mosaic titled nine doves. The birds and hands reflect the doves released at a vigil in the Oregon District. McMillan designed the piece with help from local artists.

They worked countless hours to prepare the piece for Gem City Shine. At the event, members of the public were allowed to take a tile and write a message or prayer.

“It was important for us for community to be able to connect to those finished doves which would represent the victims,” McMillan said.

Each tile has a thought written on the front for others to read or underneath to keep private. McMillan says several friends and families of the victims wrote their own personal messages on tiles. 

“We have not really known what to do with some of those feelings and some of that grief and so for some, this has been a physical outlet,” McMillan said.

The mosaic is designed to be placed into a sidewalk but it’s final destination has not been determined yet.

“The mayor has created a task force of the memorial in the district and we are humbly playing by the rules. We’ll wait and see if this is one of the options,” said Eva Buttacavoli, executive director at The Contemporary of Dayton. For now, she’s proud to showcase the piece at The Contemporary of Dayton where the piece is currently housed.

“That is literally and figuratively hundreds of pieces coming together. It’s beautiful to have it here,” Buttacavoli said.

She hopes the final piece is just as therapeutic as it’s creation.

“People come together with the artist to create this piece, that was the meaningful part,” Buttacavoli said.

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