by Carol Choucair Oueijan, Hacienda Heights, CA www.fineartbycarole.com
Twenty-three years ago, I came to California to start a new life with my husband, Milad. It was hard in the beginning to find others who had the same interests that we did so we could enjoy communicating with people.
At first, I thought that maybe I was the only artist who worked with mosaic as a fine art medium. I couldn’t find any gallery or museum that exhibited fine contemporary mosaic works. Using the internet, I began searching, and I found the organization called The Society of American Mosaic Artists. I was so happy and wanted to know more.
It was 2003 and SAMA did not have as many members as it does today, but it had the same spirit and friendly relationship with its artists. It is great to see the growth that SAMA is achieving and feel proud every year renewing my membership because that means keeping a connection with wonderful friends and with a great community!
Through SAMA, I was able to meet so many artists that inspire me, artists that have the same curiosity that I do, and people who are always looking for new doors to prove that mosaic is indeed a fine medium in visual art that needs to be recognized. I remember, in the beginning, visiting museums and sometimes asking if they have mosaic works in their exhibits. The answer always hit me: “Sorry, we don’t have craft in this museum…” Well, thanks to SAMA, and many amazing mosaic artists, we are now in a much better place, both recognized and cherished by many museums and galleries.
I am a visual artist, I love to paint with watercolor, oil and mixed mediums, but mosaic was the best medium with which I ever experimented. It always has something new for me to discover as I continue creating new shapes, reflections, colors and textures. It is a non-stop journey!
Making mosaic art is not only a joy for me, but catching the attention of art lovers attracted to mosaic work gives me the drive to create more art with this medium.
Every year SAMA has its Annual Conference and Mosaic Art International (MAI). Last April I had the chance to attend the 12th conference, in Tacoma, Washington, and it was incredibly joyful! From the MAI in the Museum of Glass, to the fantastic presentations and activities at the conference, the beautiful artistic Murano Hotel, and all the amazing sites, exhibitions, and tours it offered to us, it was a great trip.
I want to encourage every artist to attend these events and to volunteer as much as you can. It will nourish your mind and give you a boost all year, inspiring you with fun, and pushing you to create wonderful art!
Thank you SAMA!
Carole Choucair Oueijan
Carole Choucair Oueijan is a fine artist whose work in mosaics, watercolor, oil painting and mixed media, have won international honors.
Her art training includes completion of Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Institut National Des Beaux Arts, Lebanon, a Diploma in Interior Design and a specialization in the Byzantine Mosaic Technique in Greece. Her artwork is exhibited across the US, Lebanon, Italy, Greece and Canada. She was also nominated to do several permanent mosaic public art installations in the city of Santa Cruz, CA, at their historical boardwalk, and in Temecula City Hall building, Temecula, CA.
Juror’s Choice Award Winner of MAI 2008 for her mosaic “Orchis Morio Libani” M1.
WATCH the short film on Carole’s latest installation work, “Turning Pages” 2014.