Exhibit features New Mexico mosaic artists in a variety of mediums

Exhibit showcases New Mexico mosaic artists in a variety of mediums

“Mother’s Wash Day Prayer Flags,” Laura Robbins. (Courtesy of Martinart)

For at least three millennium, artists have careful placed tiny bits of stone, glass and ceramics into intricate patterns of mosaics.

Held together by plaster or mortar, today they are made by artists across the globe in a multiplicity of materials.

“Mosaic and Mosaic-Like: A Contemporary Art Exhibit” showcases New Mexico mosaic artists in painting, sculpture, fiber art, beadwork, glass and mixed-media. The exhibit will be at Fusion through April 2. The show features 17 artists with more than 90 works of art.

Rio Rancho’s Patricia Halloran worked in mosaics for 10 years before retiring recently due to health issues. With a concentration on outdoor sculpture, she is a co-founder of Mosaic New Mexico, which boasts about 30 members.

“For me, it was the ability to do sculptural works outdoors with a lot of color – things that would last,” she said.

“Golden Toad Mother Spirit,” Patricia Halloran. (Courtesy of Martinart)

Her “Golden Toad Mother Spirit” is an incandescent version of an extinct species made of glass and fused glass.

“The golden toad was one of the first extinctions in Costa Rica in 1989,” she said. “The males are gold; they’re beautiful. The females are the more mottled color. It’s kind of a monument to these creatures as a result of climate change.”

She made her “Selkie” (a mythical creature spun from Scottish and Irish legends) out of foam and concrete with glass, fused (melted) glass and tile.

“The myth is they come up from the sea and they take their skin off and become human,” she explained.

“It’s the process,” Halloran continued. “You just get into this zone. I don’t plan everything out. I plan the different shapes, but I do the planning as I go. It’s kind of like an Impressionist or Pointillist painting.”

Her “Water Moves” is all glass on foam with fiberglass and cement.

“You just nip and cut all of these thousands of pieces of glass.”

Holly Kuehn pieced together “Continuity” by gluing pieces of ceramics to a telephone cord. Her work is a metaphorical response to her beliefs and spirituality.

Several artists created their own ceramic tiles said curator Martin Terry.

Larry Schulte wove together cut and painted paper strips to produce his vibrant “Blue Lines, Pink Square.”

Santa Fe glass artist Theresa Cashman created a honeycomb with hexagon-shaped glass in an architectural approach.

“Her work is very geometric and building-related,” Terry added.

Corrales artist Rudy Miera combines his artwork with poetry. His “Parts of Horses” is exactly that, a painting of rectangles revealing the body of a horse. His muted colors reflect ancient Roman murals and pottery.

“He has a very cubist approach,” Terry said.

A Placitas artist and co-founder of New Mexico Mosaics, Laura Robbins first fell for the tiny bits through the work of the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, famous for his mosaic work.

“My father said, ‘No, he was crazy,’ ” she said with a laugh.

Robbins grew up in New York, where her parents took her to museums and art books were a part of the furniture.

She later grew to appreciate the medium’s flexibility. She rarely sketches out her ideas beforehand.

“It’s one of the forms of art that you can’t make a mistake as long as you go with the flow,” she explained. “There was a freedom that was wonderful.”

Robbins created “Mother’s Wash Day Prayer Flags” for her grandchildren.

She embellished each piece of dangling laundry with phrases like “be brave” and “be imaginative.”

“They’re just little clay forms of clothes,” she said. “The tree is done in clay and the sky above it is glass.”

“Shower” emerged from a series on water.

“It’s a shower curtain with flowers in a bathtub,” Robbins said. “There’s a lotus pod with water coming out of it. It’s the lotus pod as the shower head.”

Robbins also has created ceramic murals at the ABQ BioPark Zoo and Botanic Gardens, as well as the “Protect Our Wildlife Corridor” mural greeting visitors to Placitas.

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