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George Fishman: In Loving Memory of Bill Buckingham – His Work Continues

On 10, Oct 2010 | 6 Comments | In Et cetera | By man-admin

This morning Michael and I found this loving tribute to Bill written by our friend George Fishman on George’s Facebook Page.  We are sharing it with you here.  George has eloquently captured Bill’s incredible spirit and important contributions to the mosaic community.  We thank you deeply, George.
Bill Buckingham in a classroom at Spilimbergo

Bill Buckingham in a classroom at Spilimbergo

 Bill Buckingham’s departure from this world has left a giant void in the hearts of his circle of family and friends. His vibrant enthusiasm, expressed in word and deed, has impacted numerous organizations and thousands of individuals. And that enthusiasm will continue to reverberate. Bill’s dedication to the art of mosaic took a great range of enduring forms.
He created the Mosaic Atlas (now maintained by John O’Brien) allowing a world-wide community of mosaic artists and enthusiasts to share their creations and discoveries. 
His annual CDs, the Mosaic Yearbooks, collected and disseminated the work of myriad artists to a international growing audience. Mosaic Art Now, the lavish annual publication (no longer in print), co-edited with beloved partners Michael Welch and Nancie Mills Pipgras, presented deeply researched and illustrated articles – plus a juried Exhibition in Print – greatly enriching the art community, generating enthusiasm for mosaic art’s potential and showcasing excellence in both personal and public expression. 
Mosaic Art NOW Magazine 2011

Mosaic Art NOW Magazine 2011

 Bill’s understanding of the importance of the internet, combined with his design and technical expertise and huge generosity, catapulted the Society of American Mosaic Artists‘s (SAMA) online presence into great prominence and value to members, students and a general audience. He contributed to the organization’s quarterly print newsletter, Groutline, and allowed SAMA’s web site to archive its articles.
Bill and his husband, Michael, created Mosaic Rocks, a supply source and educational vehicle for introducing new materials to artists. They presented workshops with celebrated mosaicist and friend Sophie Drouin.
Michael Welch and Bill Buckingham

Michael Welch and Bill Buckingham

Bill and Nancie’s Roman Mosaic Presentation was exemplary of his enthusiasm for the origins and traditions of mosaic art, which certainly anchored his own personal expressions, while his bold inventiveness and inquiring spirit gave wings to those traditions.
Bill with his "Mosaic Dove" kit.  Photo Ed Kinsella

Bill with his “Mosaic Dove” kit. Photo Ed Kinsella

Bill’s artwork reveals his passion for the intellectual and emotional potential of mosaic art expression and his ongoing delight in the treasure trove of natural materials to be discovered and exploited. Examples can be accessed – among other places – in the Mosaic Voices 2009 exhibition.
Mosaics New England was an outstanding show that Bill and Margaret Ryan initiated and curated  and Mosaic Rocks sponsored in 2007 and 2009.   
Michael Welch, Lynne Chinn & Bill Buckingham with Karen Dimit's "Medusa"

Michael Welch, Lynne Chinn & Bill Buckingham with Karen Dimit’s “Medusa”

A Commonwealth of Massachusetts award (below) for his co-creation of a mosaic exhibition in Somerville, MA certainly captures Bill’s contributions to the entire community of mosaics – and beyond. 
Bill, Margaret Ryan and Sophie Drouin at Mosaic Voices

Bill, Margaret Ryan and Sophie Drouin at Mosaic Voices

In that spirit, Nancie and Michael have just created an album for the community in which any and all can upload their comments and artworks made with materials sourced from Mosaic Rocks. As Nancie writes on the Mosaic Art Now blogVoila! a Facebook Group entitled “Pieces of Bill.”  Think of it as the Mosaic Rocks! Virtual Exhibition. Here’s the link.
We love you, Bill. We embrace you, Michael and Nancie. We share your tears, which are mixed with the memory of Bill’s laughter. His irrepressible spirit can again soar unencumbered by physical burdens.
Send cards and notes to:
Michael Welch
536 North Avenue

Somerville Museum, Somerville MA     Bill Buckingham, Margaret Ryan, Evelyn Battinelli (director of the Somerville Museum), and Denise Provost (State Representative) The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The House of Representatives 

Be it hereby known to all that:
The Massachusetts House of Representatives
offers its sincerest congratulations to:
Bill Buckingham
in recognition of
Your outstanding contribution to the City of Somerville through your role as curator of the Art of Mosaic exhibit at the Somerville Museum. Your efforts to publicize this beautiful exhibit and to involve students and members of the community were extraordinary. Your community joins me in expressing our most sincere appreciation for your contributions to our great city.
The entire membership extends its very best wishes and expresses the hope for future good fortune and continued success in all endeavors.
Give this 6th day of October, 2007
at the State House, Boston, Massachusetts
by: Salvatore F. DiMasi
Speaker of the House
Offered by: Denise Provost
State Representative

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  1. jess regelson

    Many of us are still absorbing the loss of Bill from our community, and trying to get accustomed to the painful reality of his passing. I got to know him when I got my first commission to do a large mosaic out of stone. He was deeply generous with his time and encouragement, and published a photo of the piece in the online newsletter. His work with Margaret Ryan and others for the Somerville Museum shows demonstrated his vast curatorial skill, as well as his patience and kindness to the participants, and his love of community. I miss him often, and extend my condolences to Michael and his other close and dear friends.

  2. Norma

    I was interested in submitting a mosaic for the 2010 Yearbook so I contacted Bill Buckingham by e-mail. We were heading out of town within the hour and there wasn’t time to find the information about submitting a mosaic. I was so disappointed, but later received a call from my daughter saying she found a response from Bill was on my computer with submission instructions. Our son photographed the mosaic and our daughter submitted it. I was sad to find the Memoriam for Bill after returning home. His last days were spent doing what he loved, as he replied in the e-mail of October 4, 2010: “Glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed the Yearbooks. It’s a fun project to do for me. Thanks Bill”

    I guess the best way to say "thank you" is to use my time creating and enjoying mosaic. After all….Isn't every mosaic is "A FUN PROJECT TO DO? Thanks Bill!

    Norma Franke

  3. Michael Kruzich

    I am so sorry I never got to meet Bill in person. I am a great fan of the work and resources he has made available and I was looking forward to meeting him someday. Michael I am glad I got to meet you at SAMA this year and I send you all my deepest sympathies and comforts.

  4. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Thank you, Vera. Bill's family appreciates your thoughtfulness very much. — Nancie

  5. Véra Oliveira
  6. Maureen

    What a wonderful tribute and well-deserved!

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