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2012 Presentation Program

Friday, March 2, 2012

SAMA General Meeting

Lexington Convention Center: Bluegrass Ballroom 1, 8:30-10:00am

We are so excited to have you join us for the 2012 General Meeting. Definitetly worth getting up for! Meet the officers, board members, and committee chairs who head up our programs and initiatives, as well as SAMA’s hard working staff. You’ll be energized by our annual report on SAMA’s many accomplishments since the last conference. We’ll bring you up-to-date on the status of the organization and preview plans for the coming year. Find out how you can be a part of SAMA’s future.

The following list of presentations are included in the Full Summit Package and the Economy Package

What Lies Beneath our Feet… Hunting and Gathering for Native Stone and Transforming it into Elegant, Mosaic-Worthy Tesserae with Rachel Sager

Lexington Convention Center: Bluegrass Ballroom 1, 10:15-11:00am

This informative lecture should particularly benefit those who are interested in broadening their circle of tessarae options and who are willing to experiment and spend time outside “hunting and gathering” for their material. Beginners, amateurs and masters can all benefit from adding another family of material to their studio. Learn from Rachel’s journey of discovery and experiments to source your humble native stone and transform it into refined, usable tessarae. Get a better understanding of what is possible in your own backyard by traveling through Rachel’s native Western Pennsylvania experiences and her application of sandstone, limestone, slate, shale, and even coal into her work. A willingness to work with the Hammer and Hardie is key to venturing into this material and will be discussed at length. This technical session will focus on the properties and applications of native stone and can be helpful to all levels, from the hobbyist to the professional. Lecture will include brief cutting demo and question and answer time.

Bio of Rachel Sager

Award winning artist, Rachel Sager, has been represented in galleries nationally and internationally. Her work is collected with passion by clients worldwide who are drawn to her “rural-industrial” approach and her refined contemporary andamento style. She believes in the inherent magic of natural materials and works to enhance each distinctive stone in order to reveal its particular strength. http://www.rachelsagermosaics.com/


Mosaics with a Message – Exploring the Narrative with Laurie Mika and Jeannie Houston-Antes

Lexington Convention Center: Bluegrass Ballroom 1, 11:00-12:00noon

This power point presentation is geared toward mosaic enthusiasts of all skill levels and will focus on mosaics that have narrative or expressive content. This presentation will include work by both Laurie Mika who uses polymer clay to create mixed media mosaics and by Jeannie Houston- Antes who uses found objects to create mosaic assemblage. Additional work by contemporary mosaic artist will be presented along with accompanying insights into their personal imagery and expression. The audience will be given a glimpse into the thought process and the creative drive that informs these story-telling mosaics. In presenting artist’s work that has narrative content, it is hoped that artists and mosaic enthusiasts alike will be encouraged and inspired to find their own voice and utilize the medium of mosaics for creative self-expression to tell their unique, personal stories.

Bio of Laurie Mika

Laurie Mika is an artist, author and instructor. Over the last two decades, Laurie has developed a unique and original style utilizing handmade polymer clay tiles to create narrative mosaics. These polymer clay tiles are combined with beads, jewelry pieces, charms, glass tiles and found objects to create a jewel-like surface. Many of the pieces she incorporates in her work have been gleaned on travels abroad or in flea markets. Laurie has been teaching these mixed-media techniques around the country and internationally in locations like Australia, Israel, Europe and Mexico.   Ms. Mika’s work has been published in numerous magazines and in over a dozen books. Laurie has appeared on both HGTV’s That’s Clever and on DIY’s Craft Lab. Her own book, Mixed Media Mosaics was published by North Light Books in 2007. Closer to home in Southern California, Laurie participates in juried exhibitions and has her work in local galleries and private collections.   http://www.mikaarts.com/

Bio for Jeannie Houston-Antes

Jeannie Houston Antes is a mixed media mosaic artist, who’s work has alternately been described as “tasteless, done in the most tasteful of ways” and as creating “an American pop icon.” Her mosaic work is highly narrative, inspiration coming from the everyday experiences in her life and the relentless “bottomfeeder” thrift store mentality she has honed into art. Traveling extensively in the western United States finding cast-off treasure, Houston Antes brings a unique American voice to her pieces. Her art is a fusion of ideas, materials and methods. Her favorite materials are found objects which may include: trophies, bottle caps, jewelry, ashtrays, toys, belt buckles, tile, broken dishes, fish tank rocks, chain, smoked cigarettes in resin and images under glass.

Houston Antes background is in Fashion Merchandising and Display. She has operated her own contemporary clothing boutique since 1988. She learned the basics of mosaic from tile tradesmen and her own building contractor father and brothers. Her work has been honored with Mosaic Arts International Jury Prizes twice (Mesa, Arizona and San Diego, California). “Follow Your Bliss” was the first mosaic to be labeled under the new category “mixed media mosaic” by the Society of American Mosaic Artists at the MAI show in San Diego, CA. Her piece “Spaghetti Western” was included in the Mosaic Art Now Exhibition in Print.

She has created commissions for Gold Medalist Snowboarder Shaun White, BeLIEve/Mind Freak Illusionist Criss Angel, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Olympic men’s volleyball gold medalists Reid Priddy and Ryan Millar and Nixon Watch founder Chad DiNenna as well as some pretty amazing regular people you’ve never heard of.  http://www.jhantes.com/


The 2012 Mosaic Festival in Ravenna: Personal Reflections and Impressions with Ilana Shafir

Lexington Convention Center: Bluegrass Ballroom 1, 1:00-2:00pm

Ravenna Mosaico is a biannual International Festival dedicated to contemporary mosaic. The festival is organized by the municipality of Ravenna, Italy, in collaboration with AIMC, the International Association of Contemporary Mosaic. During this city wide celebration of mosaic, visitors can see numerous mosaic exhibitions, and attend symposia and workshops.  Ilana Shafir, one of the founders of AIMC has been closely connected to the mosaic community of Ravenna and has traveled there continually since the 1960’s to present.

Ravenna is a city that keeps old traditions yet is open to modern concepts. In this lecture, Ilana will describe the old and the new mosaic treasures of this capital of mosaic. She will show a power point presentation of the incredibly beautiful Byzantine mosaics that decorate Ravenna’s churches, as well as significant contemporary mosaics that are displayed at the Parco Di Pace (Park of Peace) and at various sites around town. Ilana will explain why Ravenna is so important to every mosaic artist in the world.

During her lecture, Ilana will also share photographs of exciting works that have been exhibited as part of the Mosaico Festival, thereby she will offer to those who could not travel to Ravenna an opportunity to see many interesting contemporary works. She will discuss mainly the International exhibition organized by AIMC and her own solo exhibition at the Biblioteca Classense.  This lecture will be particularly of interest to artists working in mosaic or to collectors who appreciate this art form, and it will offer a great deal of inspiration.

Bio for Ilana Shafir

Ilana Shafir has been a member of SAMA since it was founded in 1999, and a cofounder of AIMC. At the age of eighty-seven, Ilana still travels to the USA annually to attend conferences, often as a teacher and guest speaker. Ilana is an esteemed Israeli artist whose artwork has been exhibited internationally. Most recently, at the Biblioteca Classense, in Ravenna, Italy, an homage solo exhibition bestowed on her by the Municipality of Ravenna and AIMC.  Ilana has been featured in all the leading books and publications on contemporary mosaic, including the 2011 issue of Solo Mosaico, the 2011 issue of Mosaic Art Now, and many more.  Ilana is also the recipient of numerous SAMA awards. Her mosaic “Gate of The Souls” received the Curator’s Choice Award at the inaugural exhibition of SAMA in 2002. Another of Ilana’s mosaics, “In the Deep”, was named Best Large Scale Contemporary Work at the SAMA exhibition held at the Eleven Eleven Gallery in Washington DC. In 2010, Ilana’s mosaic “Temples” won the Curator’s Choice Award at the SAMA MAI exhibit at Chicago’s Navy Pier.  www.shafirart.com 


Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Partnership Connection: Developing Community through Collaborative Art Teams with  Bonnie Fitzgerald and Ali Mirsky

Lexington Convention Center: Bluegrass Ballroom 1,  1:00-2:00pm

Collaboration between artists can yield amazing opportunities and outcomes. Bonnie Fitzgerald and Ali Mirsky met in a mosaic workshop and immediately knew there was something about the other worth exploring. In 2008 they answered a national Call to Artists for Art in Public Places and in 2010 the Spirit of Discovery was installed. Bonnie and Ali will share with you their story and the benefits that come from collaboration and community for the purpose of working on large scale public art. Together Bonnie and Ali bring over 25 years’ combined experience and both artists feel that working as a team has helped them expand their artistic potential.  Their presentation will include tips and lessons learned from proposal through installation and give an intimate glimpse into the hustle and bustle of their businesses and personal lives as mosaic artists. The obvious benefits to having a partner are sharing the workload, creative input, support, and shared responsibilities. There can be some challenges too, like having to divide left over materials and cash reserves. Important issues will be addressed to help you navigate the process from application to installation. This presentation will be of interest to both seasoned and new artists interested in the public art realm and the notion of building community.

Bio for Bonnie Fitzgerald

Bonnie Fitzgerald is the founder of Maverick Mosaics Art School & School and her portfolio includes many architectural and public art installations. She is a past SAMA Board of Trustee Executive Committee Member and longtime SAMA member. Ms. Fitzgerald has rich public speaking experience including presentation panelists at SAMA’s San Diego Conference and annual updates at the SAMA General meeting. She often gives public talks about the art of mosaics to civic and community groups, and working as Artist in Residence at local schools Bonnie speaks to entire student bodies. Currently she delivers presentations about contemporary mosaics to members of the Northern Virginia and Washington, DC membership of the American Institute of Architects of which she is an affiliate member. http://www.bonniefitzgeraldart.com/

Bio for Ali Mirsky

Ali Mirsky is an accomplished mosaic artist with considerable experience working within local communities and creating public and residential installations. In 2009 Ms. Mirsky was SAMA’s Robin Brett Scholar. As her “pivotal learning experience” she studied with Sherri Warner-Hunter in Bell Buckle, TN. The knowledge she gained by working with Ms. Warner-Hunter most certainly served the Spirit of Discovery team well and proved “pivotal” with the “next big step” in her career. Ali’s public speaking experiences include presentations to many local and regional community venues. Ms. Mirsky was invited to present a lecture on the Art of Mosaic at North Auditorium on the State College High School campus in PA, which is her largest speaking engagement to date. She continues to lecture at many local schools as their artist in residence. http://www.alimirskymosaics.com/


Micromosaics – History and Technique with Antonella Gallenda

Lexington Convention Center: Bluegrass Ballroom 1, 2:15-3:15pm

Antonella Gallenda will introduce the technique of pulling glass creating tiny rods for micro mosaics. Through a slide show of pictures, Ms. Gallenda will explain this technique that is taught at Orsoni in Venice, Italy. Images of older micro mosaics will be shown with an explanation of the tools, techniques and materials that are in current use as well as techniques used in the past. This presentation should particularly benefit those who want to learn this technique. Any level of mosaic skill is encouraged to create micromosaics as the process is completely different classic mosaics.  This history of micromosaics in this presentation is based on the book “Micromosaici Romani” by Roberto Grieco. The practical application portion of this presentation is based on what is currently taught at the Orsoni facility in Venice, Italy.

Bio for Antonella Gallenda

Antonella Gallenda has been working at Angelo Orsoni’s company since 1981 Ms Gallenda is Lucio Orsoni’s most trusted assistant. She teaches mosaic classes in Venice at Orsoni and travels abroad to teach this one-of-a-kind mosaic technique. Antonella is responsible of the mosaic studio at Orsoni and has worked in the restoration and application of finished mosaics for interiors. In the last 5 years she has deeply studied the techniques of micro mosaics, attending courses in several studios in Rome. She has been also taught several times for SAMA Conferences in Chicago 2010 and Austin 2011. www.orsoni.com



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