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

31

Jul
2013

This Article appears in:

Artists
Exhibits & Museums
Home Spotlight Articles

Read the comments:

One Comment

Fuller Craft Museum Takes A Look At The “Art of Mosaics”

Cynthia-Toops-White-Fence-2012-

Cynthia Toops “White Fence” 2012 2.75 x 2.0 x .25 in. Polymer clay, silver metalwork by Chuck Domitrovich.  Photo:  Doug Yaple via cdbeads.biz

When the Director of the Fuller Craft Museum gave Board Chair Chris Rifkin  just five short months to put together the museum’s first mosaic exhibit, Rifkin put her Rolodex to work pronto.

For over 35 years, Rifkin has worked hard at the intersection of fine craft and fine art to promote and support creators of extraordinary objects.  In addition to her position at the Fuller, the well-regarded stained glass artist has held board seats at The Society of Arts and Crafts, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, The Friends of Glass, and The Massachusetts College of Art Foundation. Rifkin was also the Founding Chair of CRAFTBOSTON, a twice annual curated event, served on the Acquisition Committee for the American Craft Museum and has amassed a personal collection of art glass that includes some of the most renowned makers in the country.

It is no surprise, then, that  Art of Mosaics: Piecing It Together is a fine and robust first foray into the world of contemporary mosaic for Fuller Craft Museum.  With over 30 objects running the gamut from the familiar to the revelatory in jewelry, sculpture and wall pieces, the show also has a strong local focus with many of the artists coming from the Boston area. We’re going to hit on a few highlights here in the hopes that readers will find their way to Fuller Craft Museum before the show closes in October.

Megumi Naitoh "4/19/2010"  61.6 x 38.26 x 2.5 in. Screen printed earthenware tiles, mirrors.  Photo:  Michael Welch

Megumi Naitoh “4/19/2010″ 61.6 x 38.26 x 2.5 in. Screen printed earthenware tiles, mirrors. Photo: Michael Welch

A new discovery for us was the work of Megumi Naitoh, a ceramic artist who currently chairs the Department of Art at Emmanuel College. Naitoh makes her own tesserae – screen printing images on multiple sides of her earthenware tiles – and then sets them on-edge into her substrate affording the viewer a different image depending upon their vantage point. Here is a huge nod to the pixelized images of ancient Roman mosaics combined with a commentary on the pixelized, bifurcated and often anonymous communications of today.

Megumi-Naitoh-4192010-detail-Michael-Welch

From Naitoh’s faculty profile:

Since 2001, I have been interested in Roman mosaics and their narrative depiction of daily life. I am intrigued by how the mosaics consisted of small pixel like squares that were structured in a non-grid, free form manner. I responded to the Roman mosaics by creating portraits with visible pixels. The tightly configured grid structure of the digital pixilated portraits is contrasted against the more free-formed Roman mosaic aesthetic. The portraits are abstracted and made indefinite by pixilation and present anonymity. The landscape format, size, and frames reference smart phones or computer monitors and suggest Internet communication and online activities.

Megumi Naitoh "4/22/2009" 2010 39.25 x 28.5 x 2.25  Screen printed earthenware tiles, mirrors

Megumi Naitoh “4/22/2009″ 2010 39.25 x 28.5 x 2.25 Screen printed earthenware tiles, mirrors  Photo:  Michael Welch

My current work references mosaics and tile murals. My main interest in online activities continues to manifest in this series, exploring the relationship between technology and our lives. In 2007, I became concerned with Second Life, a 3D virtual world/login community. Second Life is created by its residents and inhabited by millions of users from around the globe who create many communities for entertainment, friendship, education, businesses, etc. Although users can express their identities by creating custom avatars, the environment is established to keep the residents’ anonymity. Anonymous blogs, forums, and social sites are a new way of social interaction. They are quite unique to our contemporary lives. By creating two vantage points and presenting images from both the real and virtual worlds in one piece, the work expresses the integration of real life and virtual life, and how we quickly weave through these two worlds on a daily basis.

Photo:  Michael Welch

Photo: Michael Welch

On the other end of the mosaic spectrum – and no less astonishing – is the classical micro mosaic work of Laura Hiserote. Her “No Time To Be Koi” micro mosaic, incorporated into a design by master watchmaker Steven Grotell, is worthy of the wrist of a Romanov.

Laura Hiserote "No Time To Be Koi" Glass cover for watch designed by Steven Grotell. Coral, diamonds, platinum, white gold, mother of pearl, Chinese lacquer.

Laura Hiserote “No Time To Be Koi” Micro mosaic glass cover for watch designed by Steven Grotell. Coral, diamonds, platinum, white gold, mother of pearl, Chinese lacquer.  Photos courtesy of the artist.

Laura Hiserote "No Time To Be Koi"  Detail

Laura Hiserote “No Time To Be Koi” Detail

Hiserote is a self-taught master of a lost art, pulling her own glass filati to such fine widths that there are over 7,000 pieces in this watch cover. This level of expertise is worlds apart from the kitschy souvenir jewelry sold to tourists in Rome these days.  No Time To Be Koi is a tour de force.

Cynthia Toops "Wolf and Dog" 2012 2.75 x 2.75 x .25 in. Plymer clay, sterling silver metalwork by Chuck Domitrovich  Photo:  Michael Welch

Cynthia Toops “Wolf and Dog” 2012 2.75 x 2.75 x .25 in. Plymer clay, sterling silver metalwork by Chuck Domitrovich Photo: Michael Welch

Rifkin nicely juxtaposed the classical micro mosaics of Hiserote with the decidedly modern work of the marvelous Cynthia Toops.  Toops is a well-known polymer clay artist whose narrative micro mosaics have a duality that makes them enormously intriguing. Stories are being told here, if only we can just figure them out. What does that cute little dog have that the Big Bad Wolf wants?  And what are we to make of the rabbit squeezed into the composition of Team?

Cynthia Toops "Team" 2006  1.125 x 3.4 x .25 in.  Polymer clay, sterling silver.  Photo:  Michael Welch.

Cynthia Toops “Team” 2006 1.125 x 3.4 x .25 in. Polymer clay, sterling silver. Photo: Michael Welch

Toops makes magnificent use of the color possibilities inherent to polymer clay – creating hundreds of hues that she puts to use in mere millimeters of space. The result – a schoolboy discretely blushes and a new life form is discovered.

Cynthia-Toops-White-Fence-2012-

Cynthia Toops “White Fence” 2012 2.75 x 2.0 x .25 in. Polymer clay, silver metalwork by Chuck Domitrovich. Photo: Doug Yaple via cdbeads.biz

We are happy to see the work of Cynthia Fisher included in Rifkin’s picks – MAN readers are familiar with Fisher as one of the eight artists selected for our Exhibition in Print 2011 by jurors Matthew Collings and Emma Biggs. In our review of Fisher’s work in the 2012 exhibit Terra Incognita we wrote:

In her mosaics, Fisher recreates the colors, textures and geometry of the “woods and wilds” of Western Massachusetts. An avid bike-rider, Fisher often combines the twin vantage points of the pavement below her – with its fractal fissures – with imagery from the natural world around her.

The Fuller is showing all four pieces in Fisher’s To Everything There Is A Season series, a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the artist’s use of a wide variety of materials in creating these evocative abstracts – winter’s ice glistens, spring’s first flowers emerge, summer sears the pavement and fall turns the littered ground on fire.

Cynthia Fisher "To Everything There Is A Season" 2011-2012 25 x 33 in. each.  Vireous glass, unglazed ceramic, sained glass, broken poettery, rocks, smalti, mirror, gout, marble, shell bits.  Photo:  Michael Welch

Cynthia Fisher “To Everything There Is A Season” 2011-2012 25 x 33 in. each. Vitreous glass, unglazed ceramic, stained glass, broken pottery, rocks, smalti, mirror, grout, marble, shell bits.   Photo: Michael Welch

Cynthia Fisher "Winter" 25 x 33 in.  Photo courtesy Fuller Craft Museum

Cynthia Fisher “Winter” 25 x 33 in. Photo courtesy Fuller Craft Museum

On the sculptural side of things, Rifkin combed her network to secure Mo Ringey-Gareau‘s fabulous Diner Stools.

Mo Ringey-Gareau "Diner Stools" 2004  Tempered glass, glass stains, grout, acid stains, leather  Photo: Michael Welch

Mo Ringey-Gareau “Diner Stools” 2004 Tempered glass, glass stains, grout, acid stains, leather Photo: Michael Welch

Ringey-Gareau has been “upholstering” discarded appliances, diner fixtures and the tools of domestic goddesses with tempered glass for almost ten years now – morphing them from the utilitarian to the splendid. Making work is not for the faint of heart; the processes used involve some highly toxic materials and exacting techniques. Ringey-Gareau makes it all look effortless, expensive and fabulously chic.  Here is how the artist has described her work:

Maintaining a tension between the feminine impulse to decorate and the masculine impulse to deconstruct, I see my work as sculptural self-portraiture with a quixotic fixity of purpose, in which I combine the ‘upholstery’ of antique appliances rescued from an era of rigidly defined gender roles, with smashed glass recycled from vacant buildings and pillaged automobiles by way of acknowledging the multi-faceted aspect of self as seen within the context of antiquated gender roles.

Detail.  Photo from the artist's website.

Detail. Photo from the artist’s website.

Sure to be a crowd-pleaser – especially with the young ones – is Casa PapaDoble by KeKe Cribbs.

Keke Cribbs "Casa Papadoble" 2013  Reverse fired enamels on glass, hybridized concrete, insulation foam, wood, mixed media, acrylic resin, paint, fabric, papier-mâché.  Photo from the artist's Facebook page shows the object in her studio.

Keke Cribbs “Casa PapaDoble” 2013 Reverse fired enamels on glass, hybridized concrete, insulation foam, wood, mixed media, acrylic resin, paint, fabric, papier-mâché.   Photo from the artist’s Facebook page.

Cribbs, a much sought after artist known primarily for glass and enamel work that often incorporates mosaic, is first and foremost a weaver of fairy tales. Working with a completely unrestricted palette of materials, Cribbs spins stories filled with pathos, humor and love. From her Artist’s Statement:

I am a painter, a sculptor, a story teller, and most importantly, an “Experimenter” who does not believe rules or fashion trends should dictate what an artist makes. I work intuitively and from the heart. Making things with my hands is in an effort to communicate with others and is the reason I make art. One of my heroines is Louise Bourgeois …. if any one ever tried to tell her what to make, or what material to use, she certainly never listened or allowed current trends to influence her work … that to me is the sign of a real artist.

Casa PapaDoble was created specifically for Art of Mosaics – the result of the artist’s long term relationship with curator Rifkin. Earlier this year, Rifkin returned to Cribbs a piece from her personal collection when it was in need of a small repair.  While discussing the fix, Rifkin mentioned the upcoming Fuller Craft Museum exhibit and Cribbs immediately offered to create something within the aforementioned short time frame just for Art of Mosaic.

KeKe Cribbs "Casa PapaDoble"  Photo:  Michael Welch

KeKe Cribbs “Casa PapaDoble” Photo: Michael Welch

Enchanting and exuberant, Casa PapaDoble’s diorama-like presentation takes the viewer to fantastical lands for ancient rituals; the tea ceremonies of ancient Japan come to mind. And, what else would a pair of mosaic bunnies share but a sequined egg?

KeKe Cribbs "Casa PapaDoble"  Photo from the artist's Facebook page.

KeKe Cribbs “Casa PapaDoble” Photo from the artist’s Facebook page.

Pique assiette, the mosaic technique using shards from broken china, pottery and found objects as tesserae, is represented by several pieces in the exhibit including Bette Ann Libby‘s China Tea Leaf (2006).

Bett Ann Libby "China Leaf Tea" 2006  13 x 13 x 10 in.  Photo:  David Caras

Bette Ann Libby “China Leaf Tea” 2006 13 x 13 x 10 in. Photo: David Caras

Looking at this work, a Chinese friend immediately recognized the geometric/red pieces that Libby used as having come from a particularly ubiquitous pattern found on millions of rice bowls.  We’ll admit that we are not big fans of pique assiette finding the majority of it to be clunky and visually unappealing. What Libby has done here, however, is create something graceful out of materials that were totally relevant to the object – it is very nicely done.

Art of Mosaics: Piecing It Together continues through October 27th. Fuller Craft Museum is a lovely facility nestled amongst trees and waterways in Brockton, a town just south of Boston so why not pack a picnic basket and discover something new in mosaic?

fuller-museum-tripfullerexterior

Enjoy – Nancie

DETAILS

  • Fuller Craft Museum:   Open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Thursday 5:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Many thanks to Chris Rifkin, Titlayo Ngwenya of Fuller Craft Museum, the artists shown here and Michael Welch for information and images.

RESOURCES

Share this article

Comments

Submit a Comment

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.