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Orsoni Prize 2011 Winners Announced

On 28, Sep 2011 | One Comment | In Uncategorized | By man-admin


rank Zappa Julian Modica (France)
50 x 50 cm Smalti.

An intriguing portrait of the late rock icon and provocateur Frank Zappa was the winner of one of the world’s most prestigious mosaic awards, The Orsoni Prize 2011. The artist, Julian Modica of Marseilles France, will receive Euro 1,000 and all travel arrangements necessary for a one week Master in Mosaic Workshop at the Orsoni foundary in Venice.

The jurors, master mosaicist Lucio Orsoni, Honorary President of Orsoni Smalti Veneziani, Angelo Orsoni and Pino Bisazza, President of international tile innovator Trend, selected Frank Zappa because of the artist’s exceptional success in “giving an extraordinary mosaic atmosphere through the choice of a subject which is certainly (not what one would think of as) mosaic.”

We can see that.  We also see that Modica, a graduate of the famed Scuola Mosaicist del Friuli, captured Zappa’s intelligent, sly approach to the world around him.  It is more than just the image.  It’s the fact that the largely neutral palette is broken with primary colors.  Zappa was never what one thought he was at first glance.  Neither is this portrait.

The Orsoni Prize is awarded biannually to mosaic artists for excellence in working with the material that has made Orsoni Veneziani famous  – smalti – that exquisite enameled glass that adorns the floors, ceilings and walls of places of worship, government, study, and commerce all around the world.  The only guidance for submitting artists is that 75% of the artwork be composed of Orsoni smalti.

Finalist designation went to Erika V. Haaland of Sao Paulo, Brazil for Gold Leave.

Gold Leave Erica V. Haaland (Brazil)
124 x 84.5 cm  Smalti
The jurors applauded Ms. Haaland’s “use of the smalti colours and the luminosity of gold mosaic” in evoking “the feeling of autumn.”  Ms. Haaland will receive 3 kilos of Orsoni’s famed 24k gold mosaic tesserae as her prize.
Three Honorable Mentions were also given by the jurors and, quite by coincidence, all three of the artists are from the State of Massachusetts in the USA.  Maybe someone should start bottling the water?  Each of these artists will receive 1 kilo of Orsoni gold smalti.
Cynthia Fisher "Stochastic Processes"

Cynthia Fisher “Stochastic Processes”  65 x 54.5 cm  Smalti.

We looked up “stochastic processes” and this is what we found:

Doob (1996) defines a stochastic process as a family of random variables {x(t,-),t in J} from some probability space (S,S,P) into a state space (S^',S^'). Here, J is the index set of the process. —

Clearly Ms. Fisher is continuing to explore the stratosphere of math through mosaic which she started in her “fractal” series.  For that body of work, Fisher was named one of the eight artists in Mosaic Art NOW’s Exhibition in Print 2010.

Battito, Pulse   Rebecca R Quattrone (USA)
68.6 x 134.5 x 13 cm

Rebecca Quattrone’s Battito (Pulse) (above) makes skillful use of sculptural forms in giving a third dimension – or “life”– to a two-dimensional image that is the icon of life itself – the heartbeat.  The effect is quite dramatic.

We are very, very pleased to announce that Mosaic Art NOW Publisher, Michael Welch, was the third artist to receive an Honorable Mention.

Timeless Vortex – Antelope Canyon  Michael Welch (USA)
38 x 61 cm  Smalti
This work is based on the fine art photographs that Welch has taken during his travels through the Southwestern US with Mosaic Art NOW’s founder, Bill Buckingham.  The two have a deep affinity for the beauty, serenity and spirituality of that very special part of the world.  We think that love shines through in Timeless Vortex.

We want to send a very large round of applause to Orsoni and Trend for their continued support of  contemporary mosaic artists through the Orsoni Award.  Grazie a tutti.

Enjoy – Nancie
Photos courtesy of Orsoni and Trend.

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  1. Maureen

    The portrait of Zappa is a standout. Lovely to see some Americans among the others singled out.

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