HEART IS TREE - my contribution to the community-created Heartistry Mosaic Mural on display in Providence Park Hospital in Novi, MI. Scrap stained glass, stainless steel spoon hilt, mirror and glass beads on mesh. To see the completed mural, please click here!
Romance is lovely, but to me Valentine's Day has always been more than that — it's an opportunity to share what’s in our hearts. My experience with mosaic artists has shown me they are full of heart, as well as art!
Through this marvel we call the internet, it has been my pleasure and joy to connect with mosaic artists from around the world and they have shared with me — as they share with each other. They have shared photos of artwork, photos of travels and photos of family. They have shared tips, tricks and advice for mosaics, cooking and relationships. They have shared successes, failures and concerns, while cheering each other on, offering support, and commiserating with one another. And, they have shared so much laughter while sharing their lives.
Through my connections with these wonderful people, who also happen to be wonderfully creative, I have been able to improve my skills in making mosaic art — if not cooking. Through them I have learned to look at art in different ways, been introduced to artists I had never heard of before, and visited places I never would otherwise have been able to go. They have generously offered me suggestions, thoughtfully provided well considered critiques of my work, and bravely put not only their own work out there, over and over again, but shared themselves in the process.
Throughout that process they have also given to their communities by turning their love of mosaic art into a way to share with others. Mosaic art seems to be particularly well suited to community involvement and many mosaic artists do this individually on their own, or in combination with other members of the community by creating works of art that grace the halls of schools, fronts of public buildings and playgrounds in parks. Some mosaic artists have found it especially rewarding to come together and combine their work with that of other mosaic artists to create collaborative mosaic murals. While there are many, many of these murals and other mosaic projects in various places in various countries, there is one in particular that seems especially noteworthy on this Valentine’s Day.
If you are a mosaic artist (and haven’t been living under a rock for the last two months) then you are undoubtedly aware of the amazing “HEARTISTRY” — a collaborative community mosaic mural, which consists of pieces separately created by mosaic artists from around the world, and conceived, coordinated and compiled by Lin Schorr. To me, this mural is a wonderful symbol of shared art, shared lives and shared hearts. Each different and unique, but each willing and able to come together to make a whole that is greater than simply the sum of it’s parts. At the center of this has been Lin, who has earned the unofficial title of "Queen of Hearts", by lending her talent and expertise, and spending her time and energy to make it all happen so beautifully, while making sure that each and every person involved enjoyed recognition for their own contribution.
Ultimately, this love of mosaic art shared in common has taken on a life of its own and been transformed into something tangible that can be enjoyed by others, and in so doing we are able to transcend many of the boundaries, real and imaginary, that so often seem to confine us. Yes, it's ONLY art, but the beauty and value of art is that it so often comes directly from — and goes straight to — our hearts.