A Dream Realized
by Erin Pankratz-Smith, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA, erinpankratz.com
I found SAMA early in it’s inception but I was busy raising small children so I didn’t become more involved until a few years later when my husband and I started up a website selling mosaic tiles in Canada. For 10 years I dreamed of going to the conferences but it wasn’t a possibility until 2011 in Austin. It was there I was inspired by the artists talking about their amazing large projects and the stories they told about creating them. I salivated at the thought of doing my own large public piece and as I sat in front of the big ballroom with eager eyes, it occurred to me, “I could do that!” So when I came back to Edmonton I started talking about wanting to do a big mosaic project and the opportunity came fairly quickly, just a couple of months after the conference. I now have a 436 sf mosaic mural in the American departures area of the Edmonton International Airport.
Originally I became a member of SAMA for a couple of different reasons. I wanted to have access to accurate information about mosaics and where to get materials, secondly to let people know I was also selling tiles up here in Canada. It has been the amazing people I have met that has kept me coming back. I have built strong friendships with people I would never have had the opportunity to meet. I have also had mentoring from some amazing, accomplished artists and that has been incalculably dear to me.
There is something for everyone in SAMA. For me it has been the opportunity to meet some like minded people. To hang out with others who have to curb their desire to lick glass and stone just because it looks so delicious… or not! Generally I find mosaic people very open and sharing and earnest. Good people. Fun people!
Erin Pankratz-Smith lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband and 3 children and is selling off the left over tile stock from Oddly Enough Mosaics to purely pursue artistic endeavours in mosaic and otherwise. firstname.lastname@example.org website under construction.