TEMPLE TERRACE Last year the General Federation of Women’s Clubs challenged its 100,000 affiliated members throughout the nation and abroad to donate unwanted watches for the purpose of configuring a collage of timepieces symbolizing the massive amount of volunteer hours they’ve selflessly given to help others.
The creation would be included in in the American Mural Project, said to be the largest collaborative piece of indoor artwork in the world.
Members of the GFWC Temple Terrace Woman’s Club heeded the call and collected close to 125 watches of various materials, configurations and colors with the intention of sending them to the GFWC headquarters in Washington, D.C., only to be told there was no longer a need for them due to the vast amount of donations from other clubs.
So instead a team of the Temple Terrace club ladies dedicated themselves to creating a watch mural of their own.
Artist and club member Virginia Halloway chalked out the tree design on a matting from which the timepieces were painstakingly “hung.” The tree is the club’s official logo, symbolizing Temple Terrace as a city known for its many trees. It also was created by Halloway in the early 2000s.
The decision for the “Serving others with our time” inscription at the top of the mural was based on a collaboration of suggestions, including the thoughts of former Temple Terrace Councilman Ken Halloway, Virginia’s husband.
The project took several months and was housed at various club members’ homes during the process. Current club president Elaine Coniglio, Virginia Halloway, Judy Keeth, Carol Singleton and Maryrose Owens, the organization’s then president, were heavily involved in putting it together.
“I think the timepiece mural is so fitting because it represents so many hands that took part in it,” Coniglio said.
The framed piece recently won first place in the group category of an artwork contest at the GFWC Florida Convention in Orlando.
Club members overwhelmingly voted to donate the art piece to the Temple Terrace Public Library, which according to Owens, was an easy decision to make.
“The library was originally started by the Temple Terrace Woman’s Club in 1960 near the No. 10 hole on the (Temple Terrace) golf course,” she said.
Temple Terrace Library Division Director Armand Ternak was on hand for the mural’s hanging.
“We are thrilled with the support of the woman’s club and the team work involved in this project,” Ternak said.
Temple Terrace Director of Leisure Services James Chambers, who also was present for the event, was equally grateful.
“The watch mural is representative of their time and certainly that wonderful club puts a lot of time into this community,” he said. “We’re honored.”
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]