The Society of American Mosaic Artists held its 17th annual conference, The American Mosaic Summit, March 13–18, 2018. 287 conference attendees enjoyed the host city of Boston, Massachusetts!
SAMA acknowledged Deb Aldo and Glynda Benham, Co-Hosts and Committee Chairs, who were instrumental in bringing SAMA to Boston, as well as the New England Society of Mosaic Artists (NEMS), who graciously lent their time as well. An unfortunately timed nor’easter made an appearance just as we began, but intrepid members packed their boots and warm clothes and braved the weather.
Registration went smoothly and was followed by a Welcome Mixer with a cash bar where members could share the challenges they faced getting to the conference.
For the fourth year in a row, workshops were offered on Tuesday as well as Wednesday and Thursday. The Mosaic Marathon, led by Cynthia Fisher, was created in record-setting time and will be donated to Boston Harbor Now and ultimately installed at the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center. WitsEnd Mosaic and LATICRETE International came through again to act as our Mosaic Marathon Sponsors!
The three tours offered in Boston included visits to the Worcester Art Museum (home to 6th-century Antioch mosaics), the Boston Public Library, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Ayer Mansion (the sole surviving residence created by Louis Comfort Tiffany). The guide to the Boston tours is on sale NOW in the SAMA store!
The 2018 Vendor Marketplace kept everyone busy shopping for treasures for their next mosaic and, once again, proved to be very popular.
Thank you to our 2018 Vendor Marketplace businesses!
WitsEnd and Smalti.com
SWH Art Studio Inc.
Tiny Pieces Mosaics
Margo Anton Mosaic Jewelry
Shards Glass Studio
Tiles Plus More
Mosaic Studio Supply
Glass Accessories International and Toyo Supercutters
Tiny Tile Mosaic
Mosaic Guys and Breda by CLC
Mosaic Oasis Studio & Supply
Wednesday’s SAMA Café featured a common theme this year: The Healing Art of Mosaics. Presentations were given by Claire Barnett (Mosaics as Medicine), Meghan Walsh (Mosaic as Meditation), and Meagan Corrado (Mosaic as Therapy).
Presentations on Friday afternoon commenced with Laurel True (Truemosaics.com) offering an inspiring presentation examining the role of mosaic art in public health. Art Business Coach and Founder of the Abundant Artist, Cory Huff, gave us guidance on navigating the pros and cons of the major social media platforms (theabundantartist.com). Lindsy R. Parrott, Director and Curator of The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in Queens, NY (neustadtcollection.org), shared her expert knowledge of Tiffany’s glass mosaics.
At our Saturday afternoon presentations, we were inspired by the story behind the Fishers of Men Spirit of Place installation in Cong, Ireland; informed by Sherri Warner Hunter (swhartstudioinc.wordpress.com) of the ins and outs of the commission process; and explored nature’s treasure trove with Sophie Drouin (sophiemosaics.com).
On Thursday evening we toasted our volunteers at the annual Volunteer Appreciation get-together. After the reception, 112 participants set a record $20,872 in sales at the ever-popular Mosaic Art Salon.
The BSA Space at Boston Society of Architects/AIA BSA Foundation hosted both juried segments of MAI—the Mosaic Arts international Fine Art and Architectural & Site Specific. The Society of Arts + Crafts hosted the invitational segment of the MAI series (showcasing the work of Sophie Drouin) and once again, the reception for both was held on Friday evening.
2018 General Members Meeting
Saturday morning we held our annual General Member’s Meeting. Dawnmarie Zimmerman, SAMA’s Executive Director introduced the Executive Committee—President, Jacki Gran; Vice President, Tami Macala; Secretary, Donna Post; Treasurer, Pat Bryant (not present); and Member-at-Large, Libby Hintz; and staff members Chris Forillo, Conference Manager and Shawn Newton, Communications Manager.
Shawn Newton announced the latest Anthology of Groutline 2017 which joined the 2016 version for sale in the Vendor Marketplace, and will available in the SAMA store. She also advised of coming changes in the Advertising Media Kit in order to expand advertising opportunities.
Jacki Gran, Exhibition Chair, shared the intricacies of MAI International that included three areas: Fine Art, Site Specific, and Invitational. Groutline and the website will have all the photos and stories, along with the winners chosen by our jurors Carol Shelkin, Pamela Irving, Lindsy Parrot, and Julie Burros.
Libby Hintz, Scholarship Chair, reminded everyone that the 2017 Robin Brett Scholarship was awarded to Heather Vollans, and introduced Sally Kinsey, the 2015 Robin Brett Scholarship recipient who gave her heartfelt presentation about her experiences and classes. Applications will be made available May 15, 2018 on our website. Libby is also Membership Chair and gave a report on our 936 members and thoughts on future growth, member benefits, and recruitment.
Pat Bryant, Finance Committee Chair and Treasurer, was not able to be at the conference so Dawnmarie presented the statistics of our financial health. She outlined a $24,682 shortfall of the fiscal year 2016/2017, citing penalties owed to the Detroit Marriott for lower than contracted attendance to the 2017 Conference as the main expense throwing the budget out of balance. The 2016/2017 shortfall was covered by SAMA’s operational savings account. Due to the weather related cancellations and lower than expected attendance for the Boston Conference, a similar shortfall is expected for the fiscal year 2017/2018. Extended fundraising and membership incentive programs are planned for this Summer to attempt to offset these potential future shortfalls. The Finance Committee meets monthly, along with meetings with the accountant to keep a close watch on our spending.
The Strategic Planning Retreat was held in September 2017 in Sayville, New York. During this two-day meeting, the Board looks at where we are, where we need to be, and how we can get there. Out of this retreat came the podcast series and updating and upgrading our website which is an ongoing project.
Jacki Gran gave the sponsorship report for Gabriella Grama, who could not attend the conference. Jacki acknowledged all the great sponsors SAMA has and shared her report
Donna Post then called the business meeting to order so we could vote on our nominees joining the Board.
Nominated for a three-year term:
Deb Durant and Sharice Rolando
Re-elected for a one-year term:
The votes were held and the business portion of the meeting was adjourned.
Retiring from the Board of Trustees:
Jacki Gran, Yvonne Allen, and Judy Davis
As always, we THANK YOU for your service to SAMA!
The Board is recruiting so please contact Donna Post to learn more.
Donna is also Volunteer Coordinator and her report included the following volunteer statistics: since the 2017 Detroit conference, the Board of Trustees has donated approximately 2,325 hours to SAMA. Non-board volunteer hours OUTSIDE of conference time totaled approximately 477 hours. Number of volunteer hours needed to fill conference shifts here in Boston was over 700 hours. In addition, the Board announced it continues to look for help in the area of grant-writing, publicity, fundraising, public relations, and governance.
THANK YOU to everyone who has given their time to SAMA. We can’t do this without you!
We bid farewell to our indefatigable president for the last four years, Jacki Gran, and welcomed the incoming Tami Macala. 2018 Volunteers of the Year were awarded to Committee Chair Co-Hosts, Deb Aldo and Glynda Benham.
President-Elect, Tami Macala, introduced next year’s Conference Chair, Sherri Warner Hunter, who will be gearing up to host us next year in Nashville, April 23-27, 2019.
The 2018 Fundraising Raffle wrapped up the afternoon Julie Dilling winning the grand prize of: Carol Shelkin’s workshop at the Hacienda Mosaico, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico donated by the Hacienda Mosaico and Carol Shelkin!
The 2018 Members’ Choice Award again went to Donna Van Hooser, this year for The Beauty That Still Remains.