April 10-14, 2013
Hotel Murano and Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center
SAMA is proud to feature Toyoharu Kii as our keynote presenter for 2013. His unique voice in contemporary mosaic art has inspired artists, enchanted gallery owners, and engaged gallery and museum visitors worldwide. This will be his first time joining us for the Conference and he is eagerly looking forward to the exchange of ideas and shared passion with our members.
A short history of mosaic in Japan and my works by Toyoharu Kii
This presentation will take us through the recent history of mosaic art in Japan beginning in the 1950′s with the establishment of the first 3 mosaic studios. In the 1960′s, the growth continued and the movement in Japan evolved until the year 2000 where we find more than 6000 mural mosaics are installed in Japan. Throughout the first decade of this millennium, the global economic crisis and the changing architectural design trends brought about an abrupt decrease in the demand for mural mosaics. Many studios have ceased operation, however, their work survives. Mr. Kii will share the work of his fellow Japanese artists and studios exploring the mosaic movement in Japan spanning the past 60 years.
Toyoharu Kii Artist Statement
I love mosaic.
I love to cut materials by hammer.
Mosaic gives me a wing of imagination that the other media of art couldn’t give.
Maybe we mosaicists of the world are required to answer what can we do only by mosaic.
I make mosaic trying to answer that question.
Toyoharu Kii Bio
Toyoharu Kii ( b. 1953, Ehime, Japan ) graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1977 and finished the Master’s program of the same university in 1980. He continued his studies in Florence, Italy, with a grant from the Italian government. In 1982, Kii returned to Japan and opened Mosaic Atelier ING. He has realized more than 80 mural mosaics and has been awarded second prize at Picassiette, 2002, first prize at Picassiette, 2004 and 2008. He received the prize of encouragement at the Kajima Sculpture Contest, 2004 and was a finalist of the Orsoni prize, 2007. Most recently he received first prize at Mosaic Biennale 2011 (Japan) and exhibited a mosaic exhibition in Moscow “Reliquary” 2011. www015.upp.so-net.ne.jp/kiiing/
Passion. Process and Purpose: Why voice matters with Karen Ami
Artist Karen Ami challenges us to look at what fuels our creative and artistic engines in a frank and lively discussion about passion, process and purpose. Why are we driven to make art? Some do it for product, some produce work to meet others expectations, some do it for money, some for the catharsis of the process. Why are you making that, and can you do it better? Karen Ami brings her no-holds- barred perspective on good and bad art, education and technique, fear and expectation, and how an artist creates a healthy practice while continuing to take chances and experiment. This presentation will inspire, and create a new awareness about the work you see around you and how you approach your own practice- with passion and a clear voice.
Karen Ami Bio
Karen Ami has been a practicing artist for over 30 years . Her sculptural and mosaic work, prints and drawings have been exhibited in over 24 countries and the USA. Ms Ami is the Founder of the first American school of mosaic arts, The Chicago Mosaic School. She is President Emeritus of The Society of American Mosaic Artists and has served on the Board of Directors and Exhibitions Chair for over 7 years. When she is not working in her Chicago studios, Ms Ami teaches art and lectures both nationally and abroad. She has been a contributor to many publications, including Groutline, New Art Examiner and Mosaique Magazine. She earned a BFA from The Boston Museum School and Tufts University, an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has studied abroad in Italy, South America, Ireland, and the Caribbean. www.artamiba.com www.chicagomosaicschool.com
THE WORLD OF MOSAIC: A 1956 Film Revival presented by Lillian Sizemore
Mosaic historian and artist, Lillian Sizemore, revives the scholarship of the past to share with today’s makers. She brings to SAMA-Tacoma a high-definition revival of the 1956 documentary “The World of Mosaic”. The film, narrated by Hollywood actor Richard Widmark, surveys mosaic from earliest ancient times into America’s post-war building boom, as the filmmakers follow the making of a large-scale architectural mural for the Los Angeles Police Facilities Building, by well-known American mosaicist, Joseph L. Young. The film includes classic scenes of Los Angeles in mid-century heyday, putting the American mosaic movement into perspective within the chronology of mosaic history. Conference attendees will be among the first viewers to partake in this bit of cinema revival, viewing a state-of-the-art digital restoration from the original 16mm film. The session opens with an introduction by Sizemore, using stunning vintage imagery and excerpts from interviews with the film’s producer, Ernest D. Rose, a Q&A session after the 28 minute film. Actual production materials from the director’s original archives will be on display.
Lillian Sizemore Bio
Mosaic is integral to Lillian Sizemore’s life. Her pursuits are a journey of discovery; from scavenging broken tile, learning classical techniques in Italy, making mandalas from the mind’s eye, traveling the world to photograph sites, and plumbing the depths of Roman geometry, to in-depth research into America’s mid-century mosaic movement.
Sizemore holds degrees in Fine Art and Italian from Indiana University, studied History of Art at Universit di Bologna, and studied mosaics at Studio Arte del Mosaico in Ravenna, Italy. Lillian is an invited speaker and visiting artist at museums including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, Chicago’s Field Museum and the V&A in London. She is a contributing writer for Mosaic Art NOW.com
Her mosaic practice informs her scholarly work, as she explores geometric pattern with the mandala form in hand-cut stone, glass, and minerals. She maintains a studio in Sausalito, CA. www.lilliansizemore.com
Rules are Tools—How Classical “Mosaic Grammar” Shapes My Work with Jo Braun
Roman and Byzantine mosaicists followed a set of formal rules for placing tesserae; contemporary artists sometimes refer to these rules as “mosaic grammar”. European art schools still base mosaic instruction on modern interpretations of these rules. However in North America, we tend to associate rules with boring, prissy constraints on creative expression. But for me as a self-taught artist, classical mosaic grammar has provided an inexhaustible cache of ideas as well as the technical means to execute them. In this presentation, I will share the five rules in my “rule box” using detail images from my portfolio to illustrate mosaic grammar in action. This presentation is designed to benefit a range of artists and arts enthusiasts in the following ways: First, beginner to intermediate artists working in the mosaic medium will encounter a basic expressive formula that they can incorporate, adapt, and revise as they develop their own artistic voice. Second, advanced artists can glean insights from hearing my particular take on principles that may already be familiar to them. Finally, art appreciators who do not work in mosaic will come away with a deeper understanding of the visual mechanisms at work in both ancient and contemporary examples of the medium.
Jo Braun Bio
Originally from South Dakota, Jo Braun is a visual artist who lives and works in Seattle. She spent her 20s getting a PhD in anthropology; then one day at age 30, she experienced an inexplicable, violently pleasant mental attack by a Mosaic Muse. This Muse sent her on a quest to discover a code of rules that would expand her capacity for creative expression, promising that once she mastered the rules, she could break them with impunity. Jo accepted the challenge, and the Muse continues to offer her new ones. In addition to her studio practice and commission work, Jo presents guest lectures at Evergreen State College, Seattle Mosaic Arts, and any other organizations that will have her. www.jo-braun.com
Project Management Bootcamp: The making of “Everything Flows, Nothing Stands Still” with Erin Pankratz-Smith
In the summer of 2011 Erin Pankratz-Smith won the commission for a 436 square foot mosaic mural located in the Edmonton International Airport US departures area, in the “District Arts Corridor”, with just three and a half months to create and install the mural. The extremely tight time line meant there was room for little error. With such an intense project Erin had to learn how to project manage on the fly! Come hear about the heartache and the hilarity of working 105 days in a row including; nervous commissioners, 5.5 square feet per day quotas, a faithful crew of workers, and lots of math. This presentation will shed light on the minutiae one has to think about when one lands a big project. How following your passion is rewarding, hard work, and can require a healthy dose of minions!
The presentation will include a 2 minute time lapse video of the installation and slides depicting the making of the mural.
Erin Pankratz-Smith Bio
As a multi-disciplined artist, Erin Pankratz-Smith has spent nearly a decade developing her skills in mosaic. With a background in dance, following training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Erin went on to study at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Carving a new path in the visual arts, she established her own mosaic tile business supplying both education and materials to artists across North America.
Erin has always been highly visual, and sees mosaic as her current medium of expression. She considers art a practice that intersects every aspect of our existence, as a way of articulating the subjective human voice. Therefore, she expects that her art will continuously evolve, in both composition and subject.
Her recent work “Everything Flows, Nothing Stands Still”, a 436 square foot mosaic mural, located in the Edmonton International Airport celebrates the effect of color and the seasons, in particular the ever-present landscape of the North Saskatchewan River, which both bisects and connects the city of Edmonton. http://erinpankratz.com
Community Based Mosaic Art Series
Community-Based Mosaics: Public Art and Social Practice with Laurel True
Community-based public art is a field that is increasingly recognized by academic art institutions around the country. There is a rise in popularity of social practice in the contemporary art movement, and a growing acknowledgement of the impact of participatory community action through collective, creative processes.
The practice of community mosaic-making lies at the crossroads of interactive art, performance art, and public art. Projects that incorporate social practice are happening all around us, in communities around the world, often bringing people together in collaborative processes that contribute to neighborhood pride and environmental beautification. In this inspiring presentation, mosaic artist Laurel True will present project documentation from community projects she has facilitated in the US, Africa, Latin America and Haiti, which showcase the power of mosaic art. Using examples of a variety of project approaches and training methods Laurel will talk about how these projects were conceived, organized and facilitated and how they have transformed lives and environments.
Her lecture will focus on community-based mosaic art as social practice and the positive impact these projects have on participants and larger communities, including art education, neighborhood beautification, community building, healing and empowerment, entrepreneurial training and economic development. Laurel will present commentary and images of the work of several other artists who engage community in mosaic making with the goals of creating beauty and mitigating suffering, including the work of Lily Yeh in Beijing and Rwanda.
Laurel True Bio
Laurel True is a public artist, educator and community organizer specializing in sculptural and architectural mosaic projects. Her projects are focused mainly in urban and developing areas and she is committed to fostering arts education and entrepreneurship both in and out of the classroom. True is co-founder of the Institute of Mosaic Art in California and has lectured and taught internationally. In addition to maintaining a professional studio practice, True facilitates community-based mosaic projects in the US, Africa and Haiti through her organization, The Global Mosaic Project. Her work has been featured in independent and mainstream media, books and publications. She has created and facilitated hundreds of projects over the last 20 years, training thousands of project participants, students, apprentices and volunteers. She is a member of the Community Built Association, the Society of American Mosaic Artists, Americans for the Arts and the National Art Education Association. www.truemosaics.com www.globalmosaicproject.org
Commissioned Mosaic Murals in Chile: My Experiences with Patricia Marin
In Patricia Marin’s native country of Chile, she has experienced the joy of developing site-specific mosaic pieces that tie into community roots, history and cultural diversity, thus establishing a deep connection to its residents and the location. She will discuss her involvement in both private and public bidding processes, the creative interaction with those entities that commissioned the work, and the general development from the point of conception through final execution and installation. Her most recent commissioned mural is part of a recently inaugurated sculptural park in the city of Iquique, Northern Chile. It is a compelling piece created as homage to the country’s Bicentennial festivities and to the local religious iconic figure of the Virgin of La Tirana. The project, which is a linear reconstruction of the country’s history since the wars for independence, required a detailed study of local history, the Chilean wars of conquest, and the celebration of La Tirana festivities. The final result is a piece that includes 23 mosaics spanning an 80ft long x 7ft tall wall in the desert of Atacama. It complements a 55ft tall commissioned statue by a Peruvian sculptor.
Patricia Marin Bio
Born in Cartagena, Chile, Patricia Marin continually developed her artistic talents in parallel to her professional activities with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). Her life experiences and journeys along Latin America during the 80′s and 90′s exploring Chile, Brazil, El Salvador, and New York, have shaped her art and affinity toward culture, landscapes and societies. Her work is highlighted by the harmony and cadence of colors, as well as by the innovative use of textures and different media, including mosaic, glass, sculptures, and large outdoor pieces. In the current phase of her work, she has developed projects of larger dimensions, such as murals that embellish the exterior walls of a sculptural park, religious chapels, sculptures, wine barrels, fountains, pools, park benches and even bus stops. Patricia Marin spends her time between art studios in Santiago Chile and San Diego, California. patriciamarinmosaics.com
Leading a Community Mosaic; One Artist’s Story with Jennifer Kuhns
In spring of 2012, Jennifer was juried into her first opportunity to lead a community mosaic, embellishing the new concrete stanchions surrounding an Artesian Well that constantly bubbles out of a parking lot in Downtown Olympia, WA. While she knew this project would be challenging, she was not prepared for the complexities of a mosaic done in such a public arena, and with socio-political tensions between the City, local businesses, and a very large street-dependent community that feels powerless and angry. For two months, she worked directly with people from all walks of life, acted as mediator and ambassador of the Well, and slowly created a bridge that united people with widely differing opinions about free access to untreated water, funding for public art, and the role of the City Council in decisions made that affect the lives of local citizens. By the end of the project, those who had complained that the new well construction was ugly were excited about the color and visual interest added by the mosaic. Those who didn’t like the City interfering with their beloved pipe in the ground were delighted that it was a community effort, and felt pride and ownership of the new mini-park. The homeless community recognized that the artwork was as much for them as for everyone, and as a group, continue to protect the artwork from vandals.
Jennifer Kuhns Bio
Jennifer Kuhns has been working in mosaic since 2000, when her landlord gave her some broken tiles and asked her to cover an unsightly repair around the toilet. Since then, she has made mosaic a career, working daily in her studio in rural S.W. Washington. With salvaged stained glass and tile as her materials, Jennifer creates mosaic wall art and medium- to large-scale mosaic installations for homes, businesses and public places. jkmosaic.com