Image Image Image Image Image

* = required field

BOM: get the Best of Mosaic Art NOW

Keep up with what’s happening in the world of  contemporary mosaics on your own time by subscribing to The BOM.

The BOM is a weekly digest showcasing three MAN articles and the top five tweets of the week. Sign up below and  The BOM will show up in your email inbox every Sunday at noon Pacific Standard Time.

We hate spam, too, so we won’t share your information with anyone else and guarantee that The BOM will be the only time you’ll hear from us – unless, of course, something really great comes up.

Scroll to Top

To Top



This Article appears in:

Et cetera

Read the comments:


David Lee Csicsko Interview This Sunday on George Fishman’s "Mosaic of Art"

On 23, Jun 2010 | 4 Comments | In Artists, Et cetera | By man-admin

Some of you may remember a MAN post from last January that started out like this:

“Sometimes, mosaics are magic. Sometimes, there seems to be some sort of higher-power-harmonic-convergence-alignment-of-the-planets that puts the right people with the right sensibilities to work on the right design in the right space and — Presto! A mundane daily experience is turned into a thing of beauty and whimsy.

This is the story of a very magical mosaic. This is “Train” in the Belmont Station of the Chicago Transit System, the collaboration of artist David Lee Csicsko, mosaicist/fabricator/tile goddess Erin Adams and a merry band of installers and technicians.”

We are happy to announce that an interview with the talented Mr. Csicsko will be aired this Sunday at 3:00 PM EST on George Fishman’s “Mosaic of Art”. George recorded the interview when we were all in Csicko’s home town of Chicago this past March for the Society of American Mosaic Artists conference. If you can’t make the broadcast, fear not. It will be archived within an hour of broadcast and you can download it and listen any time you want.

What follows is the rest of that original January post. It is one of our favorites. Watch for the magic.

Enjoy — Nancie

Check out this video. For our Facebook Fans:

Part Two:

Do you see the magic? Do you see how every single person in these two videos is smiling? Do you see the energy and the engagement in everyone from the artist to the installers, Brian and Juan? Even the videos were produced with love by one of Csicsko’s best friends, George Nakano.

We wanted details, so we contacted Csicsko. He was just what we expected. Enthusiastic. Inclusive. And downright delightful. Here are some of the things we learned:

“Wouldn’t it be great if going to the train was fun and relevant?”

Csicsko set out to accomplish accomplish many things with this work, the two most important being to: 1) reflect and do honor to the diversity of the neighborhood and 2) create something that would make people happy. He is heavily influenced by Pre-Columbian, early Japanese, Korean and African art as well as (you guessed it) Japanese anime and (you guessed it) Disney’s “It’s a Small World” designed by Mary Blair. He also confesses a love for the old train stations of London and their “ornamental whimsy.”

Thoughtfulness and creativity went in the design. An example — “I wanted to show diversity,” Csicsko told MAN, “but how do you make sure that you are inclusive of everyone? I decided that I would show diversity with color and pattern instead of physical features. And you know what? It’s working! People see themselves everywhere. “

And yes, it is technically superb as well. Csicsko is no stranger to installing large mosaics in public spaces having completed, among other commissioned works, several 90 foot long mosaics for a hospital.

Erin Adams, David Lee Csicsko, Monica Dawson
and Jessica Bussetti in the Erin Adams Studio, Albuquerque NM

Csicsko had worked with Ms. Adams on large glass mosaics before, so their working relationship was well-established. They are both deeply committed to the well-being of their respective communities. For all of her glass mosaic fabrication, Adams collaborates with Southwest Creation Collaborative (SCC), a contract manufacturing business that provides Spanish speaking women with a living wage and skills they can use to create good lives for themselves and their families.

When Csicsko was asked to stretch his budget to include a series of columns in the station, he turned to Ms. Adams. They determined that if they kept the designs for the columns simple and primarily background, the majority of the work could be done at SCC. A perfect solution. Budget stretched. Art maxed. Women employed.

This whole project seems to have worked like that.

Want further proof that these mosaics are magic? Well . . . there’s this Facebook Group called “Rub The Eye for Luck”

“The Goal of this group is a movement to generate not only a state of mind, but to also come up with unique ways to encourage folks in Chicago and ALL around the world to pay it forward. The concept all starts with a quick rub of the eye for luck; a tradition we are hoping Chicagoans will do as they pass through the Belmont Red Line Station.”

Csicsko says, “I don’t even know this person. He just called me up and asked me if it was okay.” They have even produced a video of their own. Count the smiles.

Again with the synergy, already.

Graphic designer Jason Pickleman, whose work can be seen in Chicago’s Montrose Station, recently wrote this to Csicsko:

“I wanted to take a moment out of my day to tell you, quite sincerely, how amazing the Belmont Station art work is. Walking through the station, or driving by, brings such a huge smile to my face. And I’m sure I’m not alone. Of all the art at the many new Brown Line stations, yours is the finest. An extraordinary emblem for what contemporary art in an urban context can, and should, be. Just as when I am down in the NYC subway marveling over some of the exquisite tile work of 80+ years ago thinking, “wow, this stuff is amazing…”, so to years from now, when you and I are, well, gone, some anonymous kid is going to be walking down Belmont saying, again, “wow, this stuff is amazing.”

David Lee Csicsko and Mister

And that’s why the word “legacy” was created.

Enjoy — Nancie

Share this article


  1. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    George, it's easy to write a good post when your subject matter is so wonderful. And Maureen, that would be really, really keen!

  2. George

    It was such a delight to visit David in Chicago, and you really did him (and Erin) proud with this presentation. Thanks as well for giving the interview a boost.

  3. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    David is a joyful presence wherever he goes whatever he does

  4. Maureen

    So much fun! And what a riot that "Rub the Eye for Luck" is. I'm going to have to post that one on my Saturday Sharing.

Adams.jpgAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoHouston.jpgJim_Bachor_This_is_not_a_craft_2010_11inx14insara.jpgWebb_Bryant Patio RaysMohamed Banawy  "City 1" 2011  49 x 49 cm  Clay, glass, cement.Luca Barberini Bone Flowersandres_basurto_large08.jpgBeauchamps-SeasonofSunandwind-2AprilBegayhungry-for-gold-320x312Jolino_Bessera_DontCutYourTongueOnTheRhinestonesMarie-laure-BessonFragmentsIVBiggsTide6272969822_38f84a7e5f_z.jpgMeredith Live Oak bark, recycled tempered glass, paint, metallic powders39.jpgMangere+Mosaic.jpgGerardBrandGerstheim2014JesusJo BraunMarco_Bravura_Recuperi_d'_OroSunflowers+smalti+unglazed+ceramic+63+x+48+cm.jpgLilian_Broca_Queen_Esther_Revealing_Her_True_IdentityCarl&SandraBryantCaco3+movimento+n7full.jpgPixel_Context_Pixel_TributeToNicanorParra_2014_150x200cm (3)Photo:  APLaura Carraro "Breath" 2013  123 x 40 cm.  Stones, marble, tile, silicone tubing, PVC, inverted mirror.  Photo courtesy MARRaffaella Ceccarossi "Emerging" 2013 37 x 140 x 12 cm  Smalti and marble.mail-2.jpgCharny Birds in Hair 1000LChinn ArabesqueRamblings_for_sending_copy12.jpgSergio Cicognani Untitled 82 x 90cm  Marble, smalti, fresco paintingSelf-Portrait, 2004-2005 102 x 86Clough.jpgBiggs_and_CollingsRebecca_Collins_StrengthToStrength_2011Luca_Carlo_Colomba_4552.jpgKeKe Cribbs "Casa PapaDoble"  Photo from the artist's Facebook page.DSCN0270.JPGCzapracki.jpgJeanAnn Dabb "Assay 1: Delamar" 2012  20 in. diameter  Bone ash cupels, ceramic crucibles, glass, porcelain.  In the background:  "Core:  Tintic District"  2012  Triptych 70 x 13 in panels.  Stone core samples, ceramic, smalti, woodAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julie_Dilling_Keep_Me_WarmDimit.jpgKatrina Doran  Noli Me TangereGary Drostle, 2010 "Movement and Vitality" DetailDrouin.jpgErcolani.jpgFaileSizeVisionMosaic.jpgneda-600x400.jpgRosanna FattoriniCynthia Fisher  "To Everything There Is A Season, Summer"  2011  25 x 33 in.  vitreous glass, stained glass, smalti, stone, unglazed porcelain, broken pottery, marble, mirror glass, groutSara Frost "Querty" Detail  Photo: via Colossal.comBenedetta Galli "We Are The 99" 2013 140 x 200 cm  Photos and silicone on canvas.Giovanna Galli (France)5pods.jpgRed+Pods.jpgLarry_M_Levine.jpgGoode.jpgElaine M Goodwin Touching ParadiseRoberta Grasso "Memory of a Dream" 2012  460 x 230 cm  Silicon, smalti, ceramic glass, organza, tulle.Jhgreen_wall.jpgfull.jpgErika+full.jpgYakov Hanansen "Brain" 36 x 36 in. Hand-made ceramic tesserae, porcelain, smalti.Hanansen_GRS_framed_2000Hisao Matsuo "Don't Tell What Was Seen In The Woods" 24 x 35"Kim Jae Hee "Corea del Sud" (Uncomfortable House) 2010 40 x 40 cm Nails & felt  Photo courtesy MARProgressonIII Rhonda HeislerIMG_1199.jpgLaura Hiserote "No Time To Be Koi"  DetailSamantha Holmes "Absensce (Moscow)" 2012  260 x 150 cm  Marble, smalti, ceramic glass, gold.hubbell-intro.jpgTessa_Hunkin_Varieties_PeakingDog_PhotoTHHutchinson_Tango_Corto1Iliya Iliev  "Sesif"  2010  70x120cm diptych.  Stones, glassMombasa.jpgPamela Irving "Mr. Logomania" 2013 (Australia)Iskander+Impromptu-in-Blue+2000.jpgKate Jessup "Tense Twinships" 2012  36x52 in.  Glass, wood, thinset, stone, found objectsjones-time-for-lunch-1000Francien Jongsma Simonemichaelferris.jpgZhanna Kadyrova "Diamonds" 2006  Variable. Cement, tile.Kaitis.jpgVadzim Kamisarau "The Main News 3"  2012  50 x 95 cm  Cement, smaltikenawy-memories-full1Keren.jpgKate_KerriganWalkingInRainMatko_KezleInki-400-bimg-kii-blue-grids-in-blue-big.jpgPermafrost+King.jpgAndrej-Koruza-Structured-1-2011-Detailkozachek+Three+Intruding+Fanatics.jpgMichael_Kruzich_SylvesterKazumi Kurihara "Il Libro Legge" (The book reads) 2011 (Japan)Melaine_Lenoelevy-a-man-in-a-waiting-room-300dpi-1000Bett Ann Libby "China Leaf Tea" 2006  13 x 13 x 10 in.  Photo:  David CarasMarco De Luca "La Morte di Ofelia" 2003 123 x 183 x 3 cmLucas.jpgSager.jpgdragonflycompleteMonica_Machado_The_Clothes_Line_2000_260cmCorde-à-linge-Monica-Machado-détailstone-circle-dugald-macinnesMohamad Banawy "Abstract 3" 2010 80 x 80 cm  Clay, glass.MAN2009-Marzi-foto.jpgEaster_Egg_Mosaic_02.jpgAnadoMcLaughlinru paul2.pngHildreth_MeiereCathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Drinking deer mosaic on northJeroenMeijerMaterNostra2008"More American Gifts:  Grenades"  2005  5.5 x 3.9 x 3.5 in  Ceramic, porcelain, plaster, wire, metal, cement adhesive, grout.the rainJason Middlebrook "Brooklyn SeedsFlaking paint on wooden door, Perthshire, Scotland. Photo: Helen Miles MosaicsAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julian_Modica_zappa.jpgMosaic RhinocerosLynnMoorPipgtailGirlBOMIMG_6541.jpgJinette+Mosaique.jpgMosaïzm "Gallaxiam" 2013 Detail  Photo courtesy MARCleo Mussi "Mind"  2012Silvia_Naddeo-Transition-2012Megumi-Naitoh-4192010-detail-Michael-WelchFamiliarGroundNewton Serenity 2FelicesBalls_4546.jpg8419_1251766378980_1374130919_703135_1818425_n.jpg"Cerulean Rendesvous" Carole Choucair-Oueijan 53.5 x 45 in.    Smalti, 24 karat gold smalti, cristallino, marble, granite111_0424.jpgFamiliarGroundNiki_de_Saint_Phalle_Tarot_Garden114Picasso.TeteFauveSergio-Policicchio-Corpi-celesti-2011"Dama-Dama" (2014) 1385 x 1165 cm.Elena Prosperi "Wakan-Tanka" 2013  60 x 198 cm  Tiffany glass, glass metal leaf, stones, feathers.Allan Punton "The Three Doges" 2014 Inspired by a ghost story by Alberto Toso FeiRebecca+detail.jpgAndjelka Radojevic  My Little ChickadeeGila+Rayberg+Morning+After.jpgSonya Louro do Rego "Fall" 2011 150 x 50 x 25 cm Shells and marble on wood and polystyrene  Photo: NTMP3312140193_3f2f0905ec.jpgNightshirt-Richey.jpegMo-Ringey-Stools-2004Faith Ringgold "Flying Home:  Harlem Heroes and Heroines (Downtown and Uptown)" 1996  Photo via MTA Arts for Transitdiego_rivera1-320x160Anna Rommel "Green Fish"clug romaniaAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoRuth_Minola_Scheibler_nightflight_024"x4"Peter Rabbit & fence Beatrix Pottermedium_Reminiscence.jpgWINDSTILL+1.jpgGino-Severini-Church-of-St-Mark-Cortona-Mosaic-wiki-cropIlana Shafir WhirlBeneath+1.jpgmail.JPGVox+Sizemore.JPG100_5652.jpgJasna SokolovicSollinger+Old+Growth+2000.jpgCarol Stirton-Broad "From My Sister's Garden #3" 2013 3.5 x 10.5 inPam Stratton "Twin Lights"Hisao Matsuo "Don't Tell What Was Seen In The Woods" 24 x 35"Carol Talkov "What's Inside" 2012  14 x 17 x 4tavonatti+4+close+up.jpgKathy Thaden  The VisitCynthia Toops "Wolf and Dog" 2012 2.75 x 2.75 x .25 in. Plymer clay, sterling silver metalwork by Chuck Domitrovich  Photo:  Michael WelchBrooks Tower "No Pants"  2004  24 x 14 in.Matylda Tracewska "Untitled" 60 x 48 cm. Marble and paint.Matylda Tracewska "Black Square III"  2011  80 x 80 x 4 cm.  Marble, smalti.Crack+true.jpgTunick_07_1Federico UribeVital CU 02vortex+close+up.jpgennisHouse_1428291c.jpgIsaiah Zagar    Photo WikipediaAleksey Zhuchov "Still Life With Bottles" 2012  50.5 x 47 cm  Natural and artificial stone, smalti.