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MAN’s Top 10 for 2011: Our Most Visited Articles

On 29, Dec 2011 | 15 Comments | In Uncategorized | By man-admin

Since we’re in the middle of creating the “New MAN”, looking back at what you liked best (how many times an article was viewed on Blogspot) in 2011 is an especially useful exercise.  The results were both surprising and not-so-surprising.  It would be wonderful to hear what you think about the past year on MAN, so if you have a moment, please let us know what was most valuable to you on MAN this past year by leaving a comment.  Don’t forget to click to enlarge these photos.

Number 10 – Bernice Steinbaum’s Exhibition in Print

Portrait by Liam Crotty

This article showcased one work by each of the five mosaic artists selected by the esteemed gallerist (and fashionista) Bernice Steinbaum for MAN’s 2011 Exhibition in Print.  She also provided us with comments on each artist and thoughts about the art world in general which made for some very interesting reading:

The art world is an imperfect place.  Museums exhibit artwork; art periodicals critique it; collectors collect it; critics criticize it; auction houses provide a secondary market for it; and commercial galleries supply a retail mechanism.  It is an arcane and elitist system of interlocking patronage that has not changed in the past one hundred years. 

 Luca Barberini  Folla (Crowd)   120 x 250 x 4 cm.  Glass smalti and marble

Artists you’ll see in this article include Luca Barberini (Italy), Ms. Steinbaum’s pick for Best in Show Artist, Jo Braun (USA), Lilian Broca (Canada), Lynn Chinn (USA) and Mona Magdi Kenawy (Egypt).

If you are interested in seeing the complete 2011 Exhibition in Print sponsored by LATICRETE featuring three works and artist statements from each of the eight selected artists plus additional articles about contemporary mosaics, you can order the magazine here.  And yes, this is a shameless plug on behalf of publisher Michael Welch.

Number 9 – Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings’ Exhibition in Print

This article covered the selections of our second set of judges for the Exhibition in Print–the seriously dynamic duo of Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings.  Biggs is an internationally shown and beloved mosaic artist, teacher and author.  Her husband, Matthew Collings is an art critic and painter well known in the UK for his books and movies which have appeared on the BBC2.  Together, they make beautiful paintings.  See their work here.

Like Ms. Steinbaum, these judges supplied us with interesting commentary about how they made their selections including this excerpt:

Effective image making is an enquiry, often experimental.  It could result in a humorous or ironic proposal.  It could be deeply serious.  It is possible to combine humour and serious intent.  For MAN’s Exhibition in Print, Matthew and I selected work we felt was genuinely exploratory, in which the outcome of the experiment was unknown to the maker when he or she began.

Jo Braun  Mosaic Without Any Tesserae  56 x 39 x 1 in.
Remnant thin set and cement pigment on hand-formed cement panel.

Biggs & Collings’ selections included their Best in Show Artist Jo Braun, CaCO3 (Italy), Cynthia Fisher (USA), Mona Magdi Kenawy (Egypt) and Ilana Shafir (Israel).

Haven’t ordered the magazine yet?  There’s a site for that here.

Number 8 – Ilana Shafir Honored with Solo Exhibition at RavennaMosaico 2011

Birds in the Garden 2010 60 x 80 cm

Apparently, you all love Ilana Shafir’s work as much as we do.  This article showcased all the work shown in Ommagio a Ilana Shafir during the international contemporary mosaic festival RavennaMosaico.

Number 7 – Riding the Peacock:  Sara Baldwin and New Ravenna

We’re not surprised that this interview with Sara Baldwin, founder of New Ravenna Mosaics, was such a favorite.  Her joie de vivre and commitment to “Anything is possible!” is contagious.  Baldwin is also an excellent mosaic designer and entrepreneur, making beautiful artisanal mosaics in the United States when many competitors are sending work off-shore.

Number 6 – My Art Is A Burning Fire In My Heart:  John Botica’s Magnificent Pebble Mosaics

This two-part profile of New Zealand pebble mosaicist John Botica left many of you in awe–as well it should have.  Not only is his work technically exquisite and visually stunning, he has been successful in authentically tapping into the spirit of Maori people whose tribal mythology serves as the subject matter for the majority of his work.    See Part 1 here and Part 2 here

We are grateful to fellow New Zealander and mosaic artist Con Kiernan for his collaboration in making this article happen on MAN.

Number 5 – The Mosaic Skulls of Andres Basurto

Whiskey and Soda, 2010
Broken bottles and epoxy putty.  7 x 8 x 6 in
Image:  Courtesy of Lyons Wier Gallery, New York

Internet sleuthing turned up an exhibit in New York featuring the work of Mexican born artist Andres Basurto.  Constructed of shards from glass bottles that at one time held wine and beer, Basurto creates “specific shapes that evoke the human skull and skeleton as a container of the soul.”  This MAN article attracted many first-time visitors which is very, very encouraging.

Number 4 – Splendor in Mosaic:  Carole Choucair Oueijan’s The Emigrant Trail

In 2009, Carole Choucair Oueijan was commissioned by the City of Temecula, CA to create a 7 x 10 foot mosaic for their new 95,000 sq ft, $73 million dollar City Hall.  Her spectacular Emigrant Trail, designed to commemorate the City’s rich history as a gateway to The West, was unveiled to the public on December 9th of 2010.

We don’t often do “how to” articles here on MAN, but Ouiejan had done such a spectacular job of chronicling the her “trail” in the making of this extraordinary mosaic we proudly covered it here.   We would happily do it again on MAN with the right project, but you have to admit, Ouiejan will be a tough act to follow.

Number 3 –  Let The Bidding Begin!  Doctors Without Borders Mosaic Auction Opens Today 
Le Rouge et le Noir  Francoise Moulet  (France)
8 x 8 inches  Mexican, Venetian and French Albertini smalti

We love it that this article had such a large response.  This online auction of over original 125 mosaics was spawned in the brilliant mind of Lin Schorr of Lin Schorr Mixed Mosaics.  We took a walk through the online exhibit and selected nine works to comment on by artists Isabelle de Sa Moreira (France), Kelly Knickerbocker (USA), Helen Nock (UK), Ayka Bumin (Turkey), Carol Shelkin  (USA), Luz Mack-Durini  (USA),  and Flair Robinson.

Number 2 –  SAMA’s Best:  Mosaic Arts International 2011

Best In Show
Great Red Spot, 2010  Yulia Hanansen  36″ x 56″  Stained glass
Our review of the winners of the Mosaic Arts International 2011 was our second most popular article and one of the most rewarding to write.   This exhibit was The Society of American Mosaic Artist‘s (SAMA’s) best to date with interesting work in an excellent venue, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) in Austin, Texas.
Photo courtesy Ed Kinsella
The mosaics selected serve as excellent ambassadors for the art form.  Kudos to jurors JeanAnn Dabb, Professor of Art History at the University of Mary Washington, Nola Diamantopoulos, President of the Mosaic Art Association of Australia, and Jean Graham of Austin Art in Public Places for a job extremely well done.   With 42 works, this show is smaller than past MAIs.  However, what was lost in numbers was certainly gained in the quality of the exhibit.
 Best Two-Dimensional
Evanescence, 2010  Sophie Drouin  24″ x 30″ x 9″

  Marble, gold, dichroic glass Blenko slag and glass, smalti, granite, slate, snowflake obsidian, tourmaline and stybnite.

Additional work featured in this article was by winners Julie Richey, Kimberly Schonfeld, Laurel True, Lenni Gilbert, Drucilla Perez-Tubens, and Michael Kruzich
Number 1 – A Bright Moment for Mosaics:  Judy Chicago to Write Foreword for Book on Broca’s Queen Esther Series

Judy Chicago (American b. 1939) The Dinner Party 1974-79  Ceramic, porcelain, textile. 576 x 576 in.
Permanently installed in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum

By far and away the most viewed MAN article for 2011 was this one announcing Judy Chicago’s participation in a book about a series of mosaics by artist Lilian Broca.  Why?  Because The Power of Google is a wonderful thing.  And, because Broca’s art sparked the interest of a feminist art icon over 7,000 people who probably have never considered contemporary mosaics in the context of the larger art world landed here on a website devoted to them.  We hope they stuck around for more . . .

And, we hope you will stick around for more in 2012.  In these 10 posts alone, we covered the work of 31 mosaic artists and we’re proud of that. Our sincere thanks to all of the artists, photographers and writers who contributed to MAN in 2011.  Here’s wishing us all a healthy, happy and art-filled 2012.

Again, if you have a moment, we would appreciate hearing what you found most valuable here in 2011.  Please leave a comment.

One more thing before 2011 slips away . . . Let’s keep the numbers growing and spread the contemporary mosaic love even further.  Please consider forwarding this post or any of the articles noted here on to someone you think should know more about this art form.

Cheers!  Nancie

  • Bernice Steinbaum’s Exhibition in Print here
  • Emma Biggs & Matthew Collings’ Exhibition in Print here
  • Ilana Shafir Honored with Solo Exhibition at RavennaMosaico 2011  here
  • Riding the Peacock:  Sara Baldwin and New Ravenna here
  • My Art Is A Burning Fire In My Heart:  John Botica Part 1 here
  • My Art Is A Burning Fire In My Heart:  John Botica Part Two here
  • The Mosaic Skulls of Andres Basurto here
  • Splendor in Mosaic:  Carole Choucair Oueijan’s The Emigrant Trail here
  • Let The Bidding Begin!  Doctors Without Borders mosaic Auction Opens Today here
  • SAMA’s Best:  Mosaic Arts International 2011 here
  • A Bright Moment for Mosaics:  Judy Chicago to Write Foreward for Book on Broca’s Queen Esther Series here

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  1. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Wowza! Such lovely thoughts. It really is a goal to present contemporary mosaics within the larger context of great art and design. I hereby solemnly swear to crank it the discussion up even further in 2012.

  2. George

    Let me add to these accolades that your choices and commentaries go to the essential artistry that makes the best work not only fine mosaic work but fine art work. It's a tribute to you and the artists you select, always elevating the conversation.

  3. Carole Choucair Oueijan

    Thank you so much Nancie again and again for including my work in your articles!!! I am honored to be among the 10 most visited articles. So exciting!
    Lilian, I am a big fan of your work and I thank you for your kind words!!! It means a lot to me. Congratulations on being number one! You deserve it and we're proud of all your accomplishments! Happy New Year to all!

  4. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    You all seem to know just what to say to keep me motivated! Grazie a tutti. I couldn't do any of this without a little help from my friends . . . like you!

  5. Carol

    Thank YOU, Nancie. With your MAN Blog, you have offered to many readers a little taste of how this medium can achieve considerable prominence in the world of art today.
    Exquisite Blog. Keep doing what you are doing!
    All the best to you and yours.

  6. Mona Magdi Kenawy

    Dear Nancie,
    you're like a glimmering energy..its pleasing to see such a vitality inbodied in someone who dedicates himself to the world of mosaic..
    it was my great pleasure working with you..and I'll be looking forward collaborating again with you trying together to make a little meaningful sign with tessere..

  7. Mona Magdi Kenawy

    My dear Nancie,
    I think you're like a glimmering energy..always working with such a high determination is something to admire..I'm pleased to work and collaborate with you..I'll be always looking forward something new in the near future to work again together..
    Meaningful thoughts for the new year..

  8. Allan

    MAN is top of my top ten art review sites… and Nancie is top of my top ten reviewers…

  9. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Julie, JoAnn – thank you both for the very kind words. I love what I do. The art and the artists bring me great joy.

  10. JoAnn Locktov

    Congratulations on this formidible list of articles. It shows the breadth of your expertise and curiosity in mosaic art. Your willingness to consistently search out the most remarkable mosaic art being produced today is an immeasurable gift for the entire art community. There is not another entity that supports mosaic art to the extent that you do and we are all richer for it. Thank you.

  11. Julie Richey

    Thanks Nancie, for all of the time, energy and enthusiasm you invest in bringing us all the latest mosaic and art news. I for one would never have discovered many of the artists featured on the blog if you hadn't taken the time to create posts about them.

    Keep on rockin' it. You have something golden here.

  12. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Maureen, from your mouth to the ears of arts bloggers everywhere! I am constantly in awe of what you cover on your blog. You inspire me daily. Happy New Year to you, as well.

  13. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Lilian – I agree, Carole Choucair is genius. I do hope she has the opportunity to work in this scale again. Thank you so much for the comment!

  14. Maureen

    Those all were wonderful articles. This is one of my favorite places to visit. The beauty of the artwork always leave me in awe and so appreciative of the many creative individuals all around us.

    Happy New Year, Nancie.

  15. Lilian Broca

    As always, it’s a pleasure to read your comments and see photos of interesting mosaics, artists and gallery owners.
    Regarding the most valuable article in your blog this year: all of them are EXTREMELY valuable to me, but as I work in large format with narrative themes, I was most delighted to read and examine Carole Choucair’s exceptional mosaic The Emigrant Trail – work in progress. This amazing oeuvre consists of images in which both volume and
    two-dimensionality are suggested through clever structuring of all elements and an excellent technique. Inspiring article and work by a member from our mosaic group!