When a mosaic falls into place the way that the artist envisioned it; the materials, substrate, and tesserae are unified, the andamento skillfully flows, the work is compelling, and it conveys the message the artist was trying to achieve. The mosaic works. The mosaic is something about which the artist can say “it is a success”.
That was the 11th Annual SAMA Conference, the American Mosaic Summit 2012 held in Kentucky, February 29th-March 4th at the Hyatt Regency Lexington. A mosaic of people from across the world; each person, the individual tessera; Lexington, the substrate; presentations and workshops, the materials; interactions amongst people, the andamento. It came together magically and it worked, it was a success.
click on gallery title to open gallery
In many respects this conference was one to treasure. It contained the greatest number of works in the Mosaic Art Salon and achieved the highest percentage sold in the entire history of the Salon. The Mosaic Arts International exhibition saw three sales on the very first evening of the show.
A very beautiful mosaic triptych designed by Christine Brailler was created by dozens of volunteers during the Mosaic Marathon. The stunning work was installed at the Nest Center for Women and Children, a non-profit organization in Lexington that deals with issues such as domestic violence and child abuse.
During the conference, attendees voted for Michael Graham’s “Storm Coming, Vamanos” for Member’s Choice Winner in the Mosaic Arts International Exhibition. Lucky SAMA member Cathy Ambrose Smith won Grand Prize in the raffle: a 5-day workshop with Carol Shelkin at the Hacienda Mosaico in Puerto Vallarta including 6 nights’ accommodations with breakfasts and lunches provided.
Presentations were given that inspired, awed, and enhanced attendees’ collective knowledge. Ilana Shafir, Rachel Sager, Laurie Mika, Jennie Houston Antes, Bonnie Fitzgerald, Ali Mirsky and Antonella Gallenda were the featured presenters this year. A special screening of the documentary “Who Does She Think She Is” with discussion afterwards by Academy Award winner Pamela Tanner Boll brought the audience to tears and to their feet for not one but several standing ovations.
Throughout the conference, inspiration was abundant and pervasive. It came from talking to new and old friends, seeing the presentations, wandering through the MAI exhibition, taking a workshop (or four), and soaking up the materials in the Vendor Marketplace.
Lexington will be a conference to remember fondly for years to come.