Beyond the Comfort Zone
Art Cafés have been focal gathering places for artists for centuries. A place where they could emerge from the isolation of their studios to exchange ideas, inspiration and find a connection between their creative process within the context of current events. For 2019, we have a selection of presenters that will share experiences and professional accomplishments that pushed them outside their comfort zone and moved their career, art and personal goals beyond expectations. Attendance will be open to all registered attendees for this series of intimate conversations.
Mosaics in Guatemala, An Invitation to the Mosaic Community at Large with Deb Aldo and Cynthia Fisher
Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 6:00 pm
Lake Atitlán has been described as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The residents of one of the lakeside towns, San Lucas Tolimán named for the volcano that rises behind it, want to put their town on the map for the mosaic murals adorning the walls around town. Our job? to help this dream come true! Participants from our mosaic community will provide the inspiration, know-how, and funding, working with local residents, artists and town officials to transform the walls of their town with decorative and engaging mosaic art. In March of 2019, Cynthia Fisher and Debora Aldo will be going to San Lucas Tolimán with a group of 12 mosaic artists that will participate in a week-long visit to create a new mosaic mural. Cynthia has been to Guatemala to create community mosaics 5 times since 2013. She will share how she got started and tell her story of how a vague dream became reality. Emphasis will be on how to accomplish similar projects: online resources, things to be prepared for, how to acquire the necessary knowledge base, what is needed to ascertain in advance and how to prepare for the unexpected. Images from her 5 different projects will be presented.
Deb Aldo will present information on the March trip and describe the brand new experience with images of work in progress and details of both mosaic making and spending time in this incredible environment. The title of the presentation, “MOSAICS IN GUATEMALA: An Invitation To The Mosaic Community At Large” is referring to how we are designing this as an ongoing endeavor, with opportunities to participate and/or lead a new project. Each year, at the start and end of each dry season there will be a new group going down. Two lead artists will continue the process of spearheading and then sharing with the next lead artist the ins and outs of this operation. This is a unique opportunity for both attendees and mosaic artists ready to step up and lead their own project. Q and A at the end.
Debora Aldo has been creating mosaics for decades. She is both a seeker of knowledge and a student of the medium. For the last decade, she has made large-scale community mosaics with
Piece by Piece of LA, numerous schools in CT and New England and NY at Bank Street School. She has participated in many SAMA mosaic marathons, the most recent of which is on
the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston! The opportunity to create a viable methodology that will continue the work of putting San Lucas Tolimán on the map as an art destination; improving the lives of residents economically and aesthetically is a dream come true. It is also an opportunity to experience another culture and country and a small way to pay it forward. Pietredure.com
Cynthia Fisher has been a professional artist for 30 years with a focus on mosaics since 2000. Her work ranges from large-scale public art in children’s hospitals and town commons down to mosaic pet portraits and house numbers for homes. Fisher was the lead artist for the marathon at the Boston 2013 SAMA conference. She does school residencies, teaches at various craft centers and always tries to squeeze in time for personal work creating award-winning abstract mosaics. Fisher participated in the 2014 Mosaic Intervention in Santiago, Chile and has done 6 mosaic community projects in Guatemala since 2013. ¡Ella habla español! and practices daily. Her interest in working with the wonderful people in Guatemala will be life-long. Bigbangmosaics.com
Dirty Work with Laurel True
Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 7:00 pm
Why are piles of dirty, broken materials so compelling?
Why are found, cast off, recycled, and sharp materials so attractive?
Why do we want to collect what others consider rubbish and detritus?
Why are we willing to wade through the murky waters of self and environment in our search for beauty and meaning
Because… No mud, no lotus!
In this inspiring presentation artist, Laurel True shares her personal creative journey over the past three decades, presenting her lesser-known studio work and processes she has used to explore and challenge ideas of beauty, identity, and well-being.
Zeroing in on specific conceptual projects, Laurel will talk about her experimentation with materials such as asphalt, salvaged detritus from earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods, and even dung to explore constructs of aesthetics, order, and perception through juxtapositions of materials and meanings.
True discusses how creative expression, specifically mosaic making, can be employed as a mindfulness practice as well as a means through which to navigate the search for wholeness and balance.
With her mosaic education spanning informal apprenticeships to formal training in Italy, Laurel’s use and combinations of varied techniques including graffiti, paste-ups, art abandonment, and urban land art challenge concepts of permanence and ephemerality and push the boundaries of mosaic making.
The work of Finding Beauty can be dirty, hard work, and an exciting conduit for self-examination and connectedness. Laurel shares images and stories about places, people and movements that have inspired and fueled her creative work and her experiences transforming challenges into possibilities.
Laurel True is an artist and educator specializing in creative placemaking. Over the past 25 years, she has designed, created and facilitated hundreds of projects for hospitals, parks, commercial, residential and public spaces in the US, Haiti, Africa, Europe, Turkey, and Latin America.
In addition to running a professional production studio, True is the Founding Director of The Global Mosaic Project, which provides art education and entrepreneurial training to underserved communities in urban and developing areas.
She has trained thousands of project participants, students, and volunteers, and provides professional development training to artists, tradespeople and arts entrepreneurs.
True co-founded the Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland, California, a pioneering mosaic education and resource center, and continues to foster education in the mosaic arts through teaching and lecturing around the world. TrueMosaics.com
Mission: Commission with Margo Anton and Marian Shapiro
Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 8:00 pm
Thinking of branching into commission work? Not sure where to start? Have a commission you don’t have a clue what to do with or how much to charge or a request that doesn’t feel quite right?
Between them, Margo Anton and Marian Shapiro have been in all those places and survived to tell the tale. They have a combined nearly 30 years of making mosaic work on commission, from small decorative pieces to large private and public installations. Using visual presentations, Marian and Margo share their experiences of developing processes that work for each of them and can be adapted to different situations. Through hearing their stories, both positive and negative, you will learn about various strategies to help you choose what will work for you when handling your own commissions.
Expect lots of great information on:
- Making It Happen – networking and marketing
- Great Expectations – setting clear parameters for the project
- Whose Art is it Anyway? – keeping your vision, copyright, and originality
- The Legal Stuff – contracts and insurance
- The Tricky Bit – costings
- Size Does Matter – the difference between small and large commissions
- Length Also Matters – timeframes and schedules
- A Smooth Finish – delivery, installation and beyond
There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation. Come learn from our mistakes rather than make your own!
Margo Anton has been a professional mosaic artist for over a decade and has combined her love of mosaic and her love of travel by attending international mosaic conferences, teaching and presenting in numerous countries, and viewing mosaics worldwide. Margo is best known for her mosaic jewelry.
Since 2014, she has eschewed a permanent residence, traveling worldwide with a precisely packed mosaic supply kit, supporting herself by creating, teaching, presenting, and spreading the mosaic love as she goes. Despite her nomadic lifestyle, about a third of her work is done on commission, shipped from—and to—everywhere in the world. She has often worked on larger mosaic art commissions and installations, continuing this practice despite being a gypsy mosaic artist. Her artwork has also traveled for exhibitions in Canada, the USA, Australia, Ireland, and Italy. www.margoanton.com
Adopted Australian, Marian Shapiro has been working full time in mosaic since becoming obsessed by the art form in 2003. She is fond of a visual pun and is probably best known for her dimensional works which give the illusion of flowing material. Her artwork is shown and collected nationally and internationally and she is also in demand as a teacher and speaker.
Over half her time is taken up with commissions, ranging from small domestic pieces to large public and commercial work. Commissions have often taken her work in new directions and she enjoys the sometimes challenging process of realizing the clients’ ideas and satisfying their needs while retaining her own artistic vision and integrity. www.dariandesign.com.au