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Co-Leaders Dawn Mendelson (left) and Jolino Beserra (right) flank SMSC art instructor, Erin Perschbacher, in front of completed installation.

The Mosaic Marathon is an integral part of SAMA’s annual conference. In addition to workshops, presentations, and distinguished keynote speakers, the Mosaic Marathon brings together our members for an opportunity to create a large-scale mosaic. The result is a lasting piece of art that is donated to a local charity or needy establishment in our host conference city. As a non-for-profit organization, this is an opportunity for SAMA to give back to the art community and create a lasting reminder of the legacy of SAMA and its mission.

The 2016 recipient of the Mosaic Marathon project is St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center in El Cajon, California. SMSC educates and empowers individuals with developmental disabilities through nationally-recognized innovative programs. Three panels were created to surround the main entryway. They depict the energy and activities of the participants of SMSC and include references to their aquatics program, extensive arts programming, and popular garden activities, as well as nods to the culinary arts, the new vineyard, and the drama and music programs.

We hope the entrance will provide SMSC with a joyful vision and reflect the very nature of their creative and generous selves.

Clockwise from upper left: Paint Panel from right side of doorway. Detail of Swim Panel from left side of doorway. (Materials: Mexican smalti, repurposed china, and fused glass elements created by SMSC artists.) Grouting of panel by SAMA members during conference in San Diego.

Clockwise from upper left: Paint Panel from right side of doorway. Detail of Swim Panel from left side of doorway. (Materials: Mexican smalti, repurposed china, and fused glass elements created by SMSC artists.) Grouting of panel by SAMA members during conference in San Diego.

 

Co-Leaders Dawn Mendelson and Jolino Beserra comment on the heady experience that is the Mosaic Marathon.

Dawn Mendelson

“The most valuable experience in both leading and participating in the SAMA Mosaic Marathon is the creating of community, the exchange of ideas and techniques, the feeling of support and camaraderie. There is collaboration and teamwork, there are new friendships forged, and old ones rekindled. There is laughter and chatter, deep discussions, and moments of intense concentration and quiet. And there is giving back. As artists, two of our most valuable assets are our creativity and our passion. Sharing this with others, who may not have that experience or who could use the support, is incredibly important. I love that the mission of the SAMA Mosaic Marathon is to not only leave a legacy of our art form in the city to which we’ve come, but also to contribute to that local community in a way that lifts people’s spirits and reminds them of the power of art.”

Jolino Beserra

“I thought bringing all the talent SAMA has to offer into one small space for three days could be a dream project or a nightmare, so how could I not say yes to the offer of co-leader? Dawn and I were very impressed by the variety of programs offered at St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center and after observing the glass fusing class, we thought it would be terrific if the students worked with us. They eventually created glass hearts to represent their 50th anniversary, as well as glass bugs and accent mosaic flowers. The recipients aren’t usually involved in the creation of the marathon mosaic, so it was a unique opportunity for everyone. Everyone—from the co-leaders, SMSC artists, to SAMA participants—had different talents, experiences, and styles, so we all learned from each other. Letting a mosaic develop organically is part of the magic of a community project and its success.”

The 2016 SAMA Mosaic Marathon is co-sponsored by LATICRETE International and Smalti.com & Wits End Mosaic.

 

 


Laticrete International https://laticrete.com/

Smalti.com http://www.smalti.com/

Wits End Mosaic http://www.mosaic-witsend.com/