Category Archive: Membership

Notice of 2014 Annual Meeting And Proxy Vote for Board Nominees

Notice of Annual Meeting
And Proxy Vote for Board Nominees

Notice is hereby given that the annual meeting of the Society of American Mosaic Artists will be held Friday, May 2, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Houston, Houston, Texas. Members who have paid their 2014 annual dues by April 23, 2014 are entitled to vote at the annual meeting either in person or, if unable to attend, by proxy. Proxy votes must be mailed and postmarked no later than April 23, 2014.

A privilege of membership in the Society of American Mosaic Artists is the right to elect the members of the Board of Trustees, who determine policy and programs of the organization, and the Advisory Board, who offer support and counsel to the Trustees. The term of office is three years. An elected Trustee may be reelected for a second three-year term or a special one-year term.

In addition, the Board of Trustees will vote upon the following slate of officer nominees, pursuant to Bylaw section 6.1, at their meeting on April 29, 2014:

President – Jacki Gran
Vice President – Julie Dilling
Treasurer – Debbie Immel
Secretary – Susan Jeffreys

Information about the 2014 nominees and a proxy ballot for those not able to attend the General Meeting can be found by clicking below.

2014 SAMA Board of Trustees Nominee Slate and Proxy Ballot.

Member’s with Questions may email our Nominations Committee Chair, Donna Post.

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A Texas Sized Welcome!

The Houston Host Committee and members of MOSAICO-Houston eagerly await your arrival for the 13th annual SAMA conference.  

We plan to give you a big Texas Welcome and want you to thoroughly enjoy our city.  You know how ‘Texans’ are always bragging about their state, don’t you?  Well, we’ll try not to do that but we do want you to know that we have some mighty fine hospitality down here in Houston and we aim to extend a good deal of it toward you.

2014 Conference Host Committee, MOSAICO-Houston lead by Sharon Plummer (in hat)

2014 Conference Host Committee, MOSAICO-Houston lead by Sharon Plummer (front left)

We’ve arranged for two special workshop opportunities that will take place in the artist’s studios.  There are so many interesting mosaics all around the greater-Houston area that we’ve lined out three distinct tours.  In addition to the Mosaic Arts International juried show, at the swanky William Towers Gallery, there will be four additional independent exhibitions for you to see.  The Mosaic Marathon panels are astonishing!  This will not be your grandmother’s type of mosaic.  ooooh . . . and let’s not forget the food in Houston!  This city has become heaven for those who enjoy dining out.  Our chefs and restaurants keep showing up on all sorts of award lists.

Okay, okay . . . I know.  I’m bragging again.

So, here’s the deal.  The Houston Host Committee will be putting together a series of subject-centrist reports that will be sent out on a regular basis leading up to the conference.  Each one will focus on a particular aspect of the conference or of the city.  We think this method will help you get organized and plan out your activities without being overwhelmed by an avalanche of information all at one time.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Our first report for you will be about activities, events, and sites that will be great fun to do BEFORE THE CONFERENCE STARTS.  What the heck does that mean?  It means that, if there’s any way possible, you are going to want to get to Houston 3 or 5 or 7 days before April 30.  We’ll provide info on lots of entertaining, cultural, and shopping opportunities and even develop suggested itineraries.   So plan to come EARLY.

Check out our MOSAICO-Houston Facebook from time to time for new postings, and you can communicate with us that way.

Be seein’ ya’ soon!

Sharon Plummer

Chair,Houston Host Committee

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2014 Sponsorship Campaign Underway

A note from the Sponsorship Committee Chairperson, Ed Kinsella

FOREMOST, THANK YOU to all SAMA SPONSORS and DONORS, SAMA Volunteer Officers and Trustees, SAMA Members, SAMA Year-Round and Conference Volunteers, SAMA Staff, SAMA Supporters, and SAMA Partners who have contributed in so many ways.

Your generosity is what makes SAMA so  unique, special and supportive of all stakeholders.  Thanks to YOU, SAMA is experiencing an improving financial position.  Like most nonprofits, SAMA suffered financially over the last five years as the economy constricted and individuals, companies, and institutions cut charitable donations.  After many years of operating deficits and existential crises, SAMA made its first breakeven year, followed by our biggest ever, blockbuster SAMA Mosaic Arts Summit in Tacoma, WA last spring.  But that does not mean that we are no longer in need of your support.

SAMA needs YOUR support now more than ever to maintain institutional health and to continue to offer the amazing educational content for which we are renowned.  Please donate in some way to defray some of the gargantuan Conference expenses, to allow us to keep registration and ancillary costs low for attendees – lower than last year – and to fortify SAMA’s ability to fully execute our mission to educate, inspire, and promote excellence in mosaic arts.

If you have contributed to SAMA in the past, I ask you to please consider increasing that support.  There are so many ways you can augment and enhance SAMA.

  • Can you jump up to the next-higher Sponsorship tier?

  • If you are an individual contributor, does your employer match employee donations?

  • Are there materials, tools, books, or Gift Certificates that you can contribute to the SAMA Raffle?  Or do you have a unique service or product that you can donate to the SAMA Fundraising Auction?

  • Can you donate a small Mosaic Art Salon piece to SAMA?  Or a big one to the Raffle?

If you have never participated in any of our fundraising efforts or if you have not contributed recently, I ask you to think about how you can make SAMA stronger.

  • Any contribution amount is helpful.  Can you donate at any level?

  • If you are an educator, might you be able to offer a seat in your forthcoming class as a Raffle?

  • Even if you are not in a position to provide a monetary, product, service, or in-kind donation, do you know any businesses that may be willing to donate something to SAMA like  airline or cruise tickets, retail goods, vacation homes or services to our Raffle, Auction, or Gift Bag?  We have a member whose sister worked for an airline, and she was able to secure us a donation of 2 air tickets, gratis.  Do you have any connections you can tell us about, or better yet ask on our behalf?

Whether or not you are able to contribute as described above, please consider volunteering year-round or at the conference.  Volunteer service is always needed and appreciated.

As an arts organization supported by the generosity of our members, suppliers, service providers, and supporters, we need your support now more than ever. The programs outlined below are vital fundraising programs that allow SAMA to further its mission to educate, inspire, and promote excellence in mosaic arts. Greater conference funding offers SAMA members more programming and more benefits while carrying a lower price tag, So we ask you and hope you will contribute as generously as possible. There are many financial or in-kind opportunities to be generous to your Mosaic Society.

Please contact me, Ed Kinsella, at (617) 794-8853 or at to discuss any of the above, with any feedback or ideas you may have to support SAMA.

As SAMA is a 501(c)(3) organization, donations are tax deductible to the amount allowed by law.

2014 Sponsorship Information
2014 Raffle and Auction Donation Information
2014 Vendor Marketplace Information
2014 Donor & Vendor Commitment Form

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Why I’m a SAMA Member :: Luz Mack-Durini

 Another California Dream Becomes Reality!

by Luz Mack-Durini, Los Angeles, CA

I grew up in Costa Rica and started experimenting with mosaics at the end of the nineties; at that time mosaics were not popular or even in the radar of the Costa Rican culture.  It was obvious that the only way to go about mosaics was a self taught approach. I smile remembering those times of experiments and errors, or when I think of how many annoying questions I asked the grout guys or the hours spent in the hardware store analyzing all the glue labels to find the one that would do the proper job.  I can say it was just pure mosaic excitement what carried me over several years of working alone with no information other than my own experience.

In 1999 I received an offer to spend time in the US which became the catalyst of my artistic path: I sold everything and came to California with lots of hopes and dreams.  Fortune has always been on my side and soon enough I found SAMA.  I became a member and attended my first conference in San Francisco during 2004.  I was blown away and overwhelmed by this sudden exposure of gorgeous mosaic art altogether in the same room.  I loved the camaraderie of the attendees and how welcoming everyone was no matter if you were a beginner.  I was really excited to do my first ‘mosaic brown bag exchange’.  I remember standing in front of a huge and striking mosaic from Jennifer Tipton, “Identity”, feeling so full of grateful for having found this organization.  It was a dream come true, that through SAMA, a group of people could find a support venue to share, exchange, and become educated in the art of mosaics.

Luz Mack-Durini

Luz Mack-Durini

SAMA has been of great importance for my mosaic career. It has connected me with amazing human beings that are not only talented but so giving.  Artists that have helped grow my mosaic craft into a professional level  All this through valuable information exchange, resources, news, hands-on education and support for both the artist and the medium.

SAMA’s help doesn’t stop there. Throughout the years I observed the growth of mosaic art in public places.  I decided it would be a great asset to learn about exterior sculptural fabrication, focused specifically for mosaics.  I knew that was a necessary step but I didn’t know how to achieve it.  I turned once again to SAMA and found the Robin Brett Scholarship.  This is an award that fosters creative development to emerging or established mosaicists that are serious about expanding their knowledge in mosaic art.  In 2009, I applied and was given the scholarship and the opportunity to expand once more my professional skills.  It all came in perfect timing as in 2011 an opportunity arose to work on a large-scale project with a budget of $85,000 to create a three-dimensional piece of art through the non-profit arts organization Piece by Piece.

Piece by Piece provides free workshops for very low income and formerly homeless participants, providing them with opportunities to learn a skill, gain self-confidence and earn supplemental income. I have been an instructor there for five years and the fabrication of this sculpture was an amazing experience, made possible through the Piece by Piece Artistic Director, the team of teachers, participant artists, volunteers and technical experts.  In 2013, our Villas at Gower Public Art Project was installed.

Luz Mack-Durini

Luz Mack-Durini

Villas at Gower Public Art Project

Villas at Gower Public Art Project

Villas at Gower Public Art Project

Villas at Gower Public Art Project

I no longer feel alone in the mosaic world.   It has been nearly a decade since my first encounter with SAMA took place. Looking back I remember how wonderful a process it has been and how much I have grown because of the presence and support of my dear mosaic family.  I thank SAMA for giving me an opportunity to greatly enhance my mosaic education, for providing me with tools to achieve this growth and to be there supporting so many members from beginners to professionals that strive for excellence.

Red BorealisTriptych by Luz Mack-Durini

Red BorealisTriptych by Luz Mack-Durini

Luz Mack-Durini is a Southern California artist raised in the small and picturesque country of Costa Rica.  Working with mosaics for over a decade, she has traveled to study with several renowned mosaic masters from around the world.  She has won several awards for her mosaic art and has been granted several scholarships including; The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass in New York, The Touchstone Center for Crafts in Pennsylvania, The Deavy Art Studio in Long Beach and the Robin Brett Scholarship, given by the Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring and promoting excellence in fine mosaic art.

Luz works with a variety of materials, including glass, stone, metal leaf and re-purposed hand-made clay objects, incorporating different techniques to achieve unique effects in her work.

Currently, Luz divides her time creating mosaics, continuing her education in the Arts and working as an instructor with Piece by Piece, a Los Angeles non-profit organization that offers mosaic art workshops to inner-city communities.



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SAMA Supports Shop Small Saturday!

Shop Small Saturdays

While it is no surprise that almost all business owning SAMA Members are small business owners, did you also know that 47% of the total philanthropic contributions to the Arts in the US come from small businesses?  Did you also know that 96% of businesses that support the arts do so locally?*

We encourage you to support the American Express Small Business Saturday Movement.  If you cannot contribute time or money directly to SAMA, you CAN support SAMA by supporting the small businesses in your local community as well as SAMA’s member community by Shopping Small this Holiday Season. Doing so helps the businesses that keep our communities strong THRIVE!
Want to Start Shopping Small NOW?  
  1. Check out the listing of our Corporate Level Members on the Suppliers Page
  2. Check out the listing of upcoming workshops offered by our Pro Level and above memberinstructors and schools
  3. Check out the listing of Pro Level and Above Members with websites and BUY ART
  4. Renew your Membership at the Professional, Corporate, Patron or Visionary Level to increase your small business visibility on the public side of SAMA’s Website and display your commitment to SAMA’s mission to educate, inspire and promote excellence in mosaic arts with a corresponding Member Logo (available in Member Center).
*statistics from the Americans for the Arts’ 2013 BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts

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