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
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.
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.
Haven’t ordered the magazine yet? There’s a site for that here.
Number 8 – Ilana Shafir Honored with Solo Exhibition at RavennaMosaico 2011
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
- 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