Clarifier Community Mosaic

Lyons Valley River Park has recent improvements including river restoration and improved ecological habitat, habitat ponds, access to the river, and completion of the trail system within the plan area, and other infrastructure enhancements. 

The Clarifier Community Mosaic

In 2004 local artist Candace Shepard had the vision of creating collaborative community public art from the concrete ruin of a former wastewater treatment tank. With permission granted by the Lyons Board of Trustees, work began. Several years were needed to repair and prepare the surface. Groups of citizens came together to envision the design. A local landscape design company, Urban Oasis, made professional drawings to communicate the concepts for fundraising and community support. Workshops were held to craft hand painted and sculpted tiles. Mosaic materials were gathered and donated. The Clarifier Community Mosaic came into being through thousands of hours of citizen engagement, resulting in a monumental tribute to the power of cooperation, harmony, healing and peace. The mosaic sculpture honors our common humanity and is a generous expression of love for our community and our deep interconnectedness to all life on Earth.

The circular structure of the Clarifier tank inspired the narrative theme - the cycle of nature and the rhythm of the seasons. Each of the four seasons is represented by a sandstone tree, oriented by the four directions. A walk clockwise around the structure reveals intervals of the year aligned with the signs of the zodiac, local birds and seasonally changing leaves. Vertically, the mosaic begins at the bottom with the Lyons landscape, moving upward through daylight to night sky on the upper rim. Many donated items came with a personal story, all woven into the collective intention of the whole project. 

A tile on the north side of the project indicates the highwater mark of the 2013 flood. Although the Clarifier sustained minimal damage during the massive flooding in Lyons and many neighboring communities, the town and its citizens worked together in the long process of recovery. A mosaic oval of love in the eastern night sky rim is a tribute to displaced Lyons residents and those whose homes were lost in the flood. The blue concentric waves represent the support Lyons received as it rebuilt.

Clarifier Public Art Project

Clarifier Public Art Project

Clarifier Public Art Project

Clarifier Public Art Project - Planets

Photos Courtesy Priscilla Cohan

Special Thanks to the Following:


Boulder County Arts Alliance
Lyons Community Foundation
Town of Lyons
Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission
Urban Oasis Design
Lyons Historical Society
Boulder County Arts Alliance
Loukonen Brothers Stone Company
Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, SCFD Tier III
Motawi Tile Works
Appelfeller Arts
Clarks Hardware
Stone Cup
Steamboat Mountain Foods
Redstone Review
Lyons Recorder


Mystie Brackett, in memory of her sister Cynthia
Garima Fairfax and Tosh Golias
LaVern Johnson
Darcie Sanders and Lenny Karpel 
Sally Pillsbury
Peter Baumgartner
and many others.


Facilitated by Priscilla Cohan and Cathy Rivers

Kirk Vincent
Mystie Brackett
Robin Grabowski 
Robyn Rathweg
Ed Bruder
Garima Fairfax
Chuck Esterly
Diane Dandeneau
Sandy Banta
and many others.


The GAP Group Intergenerational Group
The Golden Gang
Lyons High School Students
Lyons Elementary School Students
Lyons Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
The River Church
Lyons Volunteers

The Clarifier Community Mosaic was dedicated to the Town of Lyons and its people on September 12, 2015. The event was honored by the presence of many local celebrities and artists including: Governor John Hickenlooper, the Mayama Dancers, local musicians led by Mintze Wu and a ribbon cutting by Lyons’ matriarch, Lavern M. Johnson. They joined citizens in celebrating Lyons’ resilience as a community. David Wilson, a lineal descendant of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, sang an honoring song meaning:

“We are always participating whenever there is a community event or gathering, being present to assist or help out in whatever way is needed or required.” 

The Clarifier Community Mosaic is designated as an International Peace Site with the World Citizen Peace organization