I was both honored and thrilled to be included in the recent Sculptural Objects and Functional Art & Design (SOFA) show in Chicago, IL, in association with the Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) group entry submission “100 Moments in Mosaic”. It was a wonderful opportunity to show work in collaboration with 99 other mosaic artists from the organization, showcasing a broad range of skill sets, topics, materials and methods from the collective group.
This was my entry, titled Andamento / Adamantine
Andamento Visual flow & direction produced by the placement of rows of tesserae (pieces) within a mosaic.
Adamantine From the Greek word adamas meaning ‘invincible’, diamond-like (the hardest known mineral), or unbreakable.
Diamond, historically, has been the ceremonial symbol of enduring and eternal love. The use of this beautiful natural resource to celebrate life’s most important connections also carries a sad and tragic irony: diamond mining has also been the cause of much pain and suffering in the world, brought about by greed, avarice and poor environmental stewardship in unfair diamond distribution systems.
Like the merging and diverging tesserae that surround this mosaic diamond, the paths of the many lives touched by diamonds – from the initial South African miner, his community, mine owners, syndicates, cutters & polishers, jewelers, royalty, wealthy socialites, to the average citizen… – are all connected.
I was especially moved by all the submissions from Puerto Rico’s Atelier Del Mosaico contingency, headed up by studio owner Luis Alberto Rivera, who moved mountains to help each of his studio members finish their mosaics, get them shipped out, and then fly to the show in time, just weeks after braving the devastation of Hurricane Maria. His Herculean show of strength, compassion, creativity, and get-it-done-ness was one of the most inspiring examples of leadership I saw during 2017, setting a beautiful example of how much art can be a healing force during difficult times.