Contemporary Mosaics In The Home

I live for contemporary mosaics.  As the editor of Mosaic Art NOW, I am constantly discovering artists who use the medium to express themselves in striking new ways. I also live with contemporary mosaics; they reside in my home right alongside the paintings, prints, textiles and sculptures my husband and I have collected over the years.

Like any other art form, mosaics bring something special to a living environment–often creating a mood or setting a tone for a space all by themselves.  The three artists you will meet here (Julie Richey, Lynne Chinn, and Betty Youngquist) are award-winning masters of the art form with very distinctive voices.  All of them make magic using lush materials that beguile and striking imagery that inspires.  Isn’t that what art in the home is all about?

Fig1JulieRicheyLaCorrente2010[8]Julie Richey’s “La Corrente” (The Current) (2010). Size: 29 x 22 x 22 in.  Italian and Mexican smalti, marble, 24K gold smalti, seashells, chalcedony. Julie Richey: The Places We LoveIt is easy to get swept away to the sea by Julie Richey’s La Corrente.  Since the sculpture won the prize for Best 3 Dimensional at the 2010 Mosaic Arts International, La Corrente has been been featured as the face of Ravenna’s Fashion Week, appeared in numerous online publications, and made a guest appearance on the blog for Paris Fashion Week. (Continue reading.)
Fig10LynneChinn_Outcropping_2011_Various_Detail2[4]Lynne Chinn’s  “Outcropping” (2011). Various sizes: 20 x 60 in.  Marble, 24K copper colored gold smalti, quartz crystals, selenite, glass. Lynne Chinn: Life As We Could Know ItLynne Chinn’s mosaic sculptures immediately bring to mind the possibility of new life forms.  The Texas-based artist is a master at making the hard materials of mosaic look soft, yielding and animate. (Continue reading.)
Fig12Betsy Youngquist _Androcles and the Cat_2010_12x22x8[2][4]
Betsy Youngquist’s “Androcles and the Cat”( 2010). Size: 12 x 22 x 8 in.  Glass beads and stones, antique porcelain doll parts, vintage prosthetic eyes, urethane foam, unsanded tile grout, sealer.
Betsy Youngquist:  A Sense of the Fantastic

Mixed media artist Betsy Youngquist is definitely in the business of creating new life forms.  She starts with carefully sculpted shapes (often made by collaborator R. Scott Long) adds doll parts and prosthetic eyes in strikingly unconventional ways, and then clads her creations in luscious beaded mosaic patterns that are reminiscent of fabled Rajahstani carpets.  She calls this work “surrealistic anthropomorphism.” (Continue reading.)

We bring art into our homes for any number of different reasons – to embellish, to soothe, to ignite, to inspire.  Mosaics, with their intrinsic characteristics of color, texture, reflectivity and relief can be wonderful additions to any collection.  The trick, as with any piece of art, is to just enjoy them and share your enjoyment of them with others.  Visitors to my powder room, for instance, always come out chuckling–and with clean hands–after an encounter with Darby Freeman’s ‘Arbol de Espiritus’ (Tree of spirits) 2010.

Fig15_Darby_Freeman_ Arbol_de_Espiritus_2010[9] Darby Freeman’s Arbol de Espiritus (Tree of spirits) 2010.

Enjoy –  Nancie.


nancie-pipgras-portrait-crop[7] Nancie Mills Pipgras is the Editor of Mosaic Art NOW, an online publication devoted to the very best in contemporary mosaic art and thought.  An unabashed promoter of the art form, Mills Pipgras is a former president of the Society of American Mosaic Artists and has been dubbed “The Mosaic Maven” by  Join the mosaic conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Flipboard.