Glazed over: First artistic planter set out downtown

HARLINGEN — The first mosaic planter is on the street, and 13 more will follow.

The Downtown Improvement District has commissioned more than a dozen planters which will be created by local high school artists who will be adhering to themes involving Harlingen.

The first, produced by artist Roberta Lee out of ceramic tiles, has a “tropical” theme and now sits outside the downtown district offices at the corner of Jackson and Commerce streets.

Lee is supervising the creation of the planters.

“They’re going to be given the themes and they’re supposed to come up with the idea, with the design, and the majority of them are going to be clay,” downtown Manager Edward Meza said yesterday. “So they’re going to be making the design in clay and actually doing the little flowers on ceramic tiles, they’re going to be glazing them. Some might have glass but the majority of them will have clay.”

The first planter produced is covered with a lid, but Meza said most of the rest will be functional and will be filled with living plants.

While the first planter is located outside his offices, Meza said the rest will be placed strategically around the downtown district where a little color will do the most good.

“The idea was to put them in areas where you could see them,” he said. “Like on Monroe Street, there are areas that need some kind of color.”

The planters have been funded by sponsors who will be recognized for their $300 contributions.

“It’s going to take about, realistically, six months,” Meza said, before all the mosaic planters are deployed.