Institute of Mosaic Art instructors provide expert education in the mosaic arts in a fun and welcoming environment. IMA instructors are professionals, leaders and committed artists in the mosaic field.
Rachel Rodi, Senior Staff Instructor
Rachel Rodi is a professional mosaic artist, specializing in large scale mosaic installations for commercial and residential spaces, public art and community projects. She enjoys working in both ceramic tile and glass, often mixing them, and focuses her work on blending artistic and creative vision with function and purpose in an environment. Originally schooled in painting, drawing and ceramics, Rachel graduated with honors with a BA in Ceramic Sculpture in 1997 from Regis University, Denver, CO. After exhibiting and selling her ceramic and painted art throughout the 90's, Rachel turned to mosaics as her primary medium in 2004. Now Rachel creates mosaics full time and has designed and installed mosaic murals, sculptures, water features, plazas, seating, signage, and more throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
Delaine is known in the mosaic world for her fabulous portraits. As a professional mosaic artist since 2003, she has taken her absolute love of dogs and created a niche in mosaic pet portraiture. Her subjects also include cats, birds, other creatures and occasional humans. Her works are whimsical, full of tactile and textural variety, often include lots of green and are very representative of the subject's likeness and personality. In addition to mosaic portraits, Delaine has created many large-scale public art mosaics and community style mosaic projects in the San Francisco Bay area.
You may visit her website at: www.delainemosaic.com.
Margo Anton has been a professional mosaic artist since 2004, operating under the name of Minerva Mosaics. She has exhibited her work at two past SAMA conferences, as well as in various exhibitions in her native Canada. Margo has also spoken both locally and internationally on mosaic art. Her mosaic journey began with a fascination in glass and tile, and has since moved on to a more eclectic mix of materials. In February 2009, Margo began a blog wherein she creates a small scale mixed media mosaic four or five days a week. In addition to working on this "Mosaic A Day" project, Margo also works on larger fine art mosaics, commissions, and installations. She teaches adult mosaic workshops throughout the year, with skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced.
For information on Ellen Blakeley go to: www.ellenblakeley.com.
Claire began creating mosaics after the tragic death of her two young daughters in 2000. Her first mosaics were created with family and friends as group projects to mark her daughters’ birthdays. As her backyard filled with memorial star garden stones, Claire began expanding her study and experience of mosaics,learning from many fabulous teachers in both the US and Italy. In 2009 Claire opened Seattle Mosaic Arts, a community based studio and retail space that offers classes, workshops and studio space for mosaic artists in the Seattle area. The studio works primarily in the double indirect method, and Claire’s personal area of focus is working with grieving individuals and groups, creating memorial mosaics.
Since 2001 Lynne Chinn has been designing, creating and installing large scale, one-of-a-kind mosaic art pieces for designers, architects, public art committees, liturgical clients, art consultants and homeowners. One of her recent installations was a 6'w x 9'h Italian smalti mosaic Icon at Mt. Angel Abbey.
Lynne was recognized as 'Best In Show'; Mosaic Arts International 2009, an international juried exhibition of contemporary mosaic art, and was honored with 'Finalist; for Fine Mosaic Technique and Originality of Expression' in the coveted Orsoni Prize 2007, International Award for Mosaic Fine Art. Within this ancient art form, Lynne believes in using the finest materials such as vitreous glass, smalti, marble, natural stone, Millefiori, and shell, in conjunction with the most up-to-date installation tools, products and techniques to create her surprisingly modern and enduring works of art. Lately, Lynne has been fascinated with the idea of making large-scale glass and stone mosaics that appear light and airy. To that end she conceived of the idea of depicting rough-hewn handmade cloth with all of its imperfections lightly draped and billowing as if blowing in the wind.
Using a mostly monochromatic color scheme she works to create a visually pleasing and exciting andamento, keeping motion and texture in mind. As the hard-edged, unforgiving tesserae undulate over the soft folds of 'fabric' they sparkle and dance creating gentle highlights and shadows.
Her inspired fine art mosaics are represented in private homes and in public places all over the United States, Australia and Canada.
After studying traditional methods and materials in Italy, I combined my mosaic work with my photography, bringing my art full circle. My inspiration to create stems from what I see everyday. I love composition and am constantly framing my surroundings. Through photography, I am able to capture it, the light, the moment, the perspective. Through mosaic, I am able to take what I see one step further and interpret it, simplifying some of the details, yet retaining its essence. Having been influenced by the Impressionists and Urban Realists, I have developed a rather "poetic" eye. My compositions have unique perspective and tend to be rather emotive, drawing on feelings of isolation, melancholy, solitude and contemplation. It is so fulfilling to see my image come alive, full of texture and dimension. It is a process that makes me feel totally connected to my work. This process, in addition to the time, skill and dedication that go into each of my pieces, makes them extremely meaningful to me and quite personal.
Kerrigan currently resides in Lake Tahoe, CA, and has been recognized and awarded on both national and international levels.
Sonia King's first contact with mosaics was as a child when her mother worked in the medium. Her fascination with the color, texture and surfaces of mosaic art has remained constant. Sonia received a BFA from California College of Arts and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. After a successful business career, Sonia returned to the arts, working on a contemporary interpretation of the ancient art of mosaics as a fine art medium.
Sonia creates one-of-a-kind, contemporary mosaics for gallery, architectural, community and home settings. Mosaics are produced using the finest materials gathered from sources around the world: smalti, gold, marble, vitreous glass, ceramic and more. She recently completed four large mosaic walls for Children's Medical Center of Dallas that were featured on the cover of Healthcare Design magazine. Sonia's award-winning art is exhibited both nationally and internationally and is represented in private, public and corporate collections.
Fortunate to have an extensive travel background, Sonia has visited ancient mosaic sites and studied with modern mosaic artists around the world. She is a founding member and past President of the Society of American Mosaic Artists as well as instructor in mosaics at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas. Sonia has been granted membership and serves as a director of the Associazione Internazionale Mosaicisti Contemporanei (AIMC) in Ravenna, Italy. She has spoken on mosaic art in England, France, Australia and Brazil and teaches advanced classes internationally. Sonia was featured on HGTV's popular show, Modern Masters, and her art has been included in numerous mosaic books. She is the author of the Sterling Publishing book "Mosaic Techniques & Traditions" and is currently writing "Mosaic Master Class: The Advanced Techniques".
Kelley came to mosaics in the summer of 2005, after working in many other artistic mediums (leaded glass, canvas floorcloths, calligraphy, quilting). Art had been a lifelong sideline, but she had a serious jones for an artistic expression that could translate into a creative career. A week-long introductory mosaic course at the Institute of Mosaic Art set off a veritable firework display of possibilities in her head: this medium could be horizontal, vertical, 2-D, 3-D, small-scale, mammoth-scale, opaque, translucent, transparent, functional, decorative, and created out of virtually any material! That mind-boggling versatility convinced her that there had to be a career in there somewhere.
IMA's Business of Mosaic class cinched Kelley's decision to make mosaics her second career, and helped narrow her focus to architectural applications. After a solid year of studying mosaic technique and installation with professionals across the U.S., in 2006 she founded her Seattle studio, Rivenworks Mosaics, from which she designs, fabricates and installs custom architectural mosaics for residential, commercial, and public art clients.
Kelley creates mosaics in many mediums for architectural clients, but in her personal work she returns again and again to glass for exploration and play. The visual (and literal) depth and light-handling properties of glass, as well as its seemingly limitless palette of colors, offer up endless possibilities for dimensional shenanigans. Out of those explorations Kelley has developed three signature glass mosaic techniques: Texture Field, which utilizes multiple textures of clear architectural glass to create a field of texture; Flat Stacking, in which multiple layers of translucent glass is stacked over itself on a mirrored or clear glass substrate, and Edge Stacking, in which glass strips of varying heights are set on edge.
Kelley's fine art panels in stacked and textured glass have been accepted to national and international juried exhibitions, and many reside in private collections. She is an active member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, and regularly teaches sessions on stacked and textured glass mosaic techniques.
A selected body of Kelley's work can be viewed at
"I am a mixed-media artist with a passion for combining and overlapping a variety of mediums creating an original style of mixed-media mosaics and assemblage using handmade tile. My love of travel to far off places and experiences of living abroad (East Africa) have shaped the way my art looks today....especially since my work is embellished with the many little treasures found during my travels. I recently started teaching at nationally recognized art retreats like ArtFest and Art and Soul and have loved sharing all of the discoveries I've learned along the way in a journey that is still evolving."
"My mixed-media mosaics have been included in many group shows and galleries and I have commissioned pieces in private collections. My work has also been published in magazines, Expressions and Somerset Studio and in books, 400 Polymer Clay Designs, Mosaic Art and Style and New Techniques for Wearable Art. I was featured on both HGTV's, Crafter's Coast to Coast and on DIY networks, Craft Lab. I also have my own book being published by North Light Books called, Mixed Media Mosaics, due to be released in July, 2007."
For more information: http://www.mikaarts.com.
Carol Shelkin is a mosaic artist who creates fine art pieces for galleries, homes, architectural and public settings internationally. It was made clear at a young age that Carol's life would be centered upon her passion for creating and teaching art. Carol continued her studies at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Fleisher Art Memorial, and Philadelphia College of Art. She eventually opened an arts-nursery school/child care where she works today. Along with her school, Carol has been teaching a variety of art mediums to adults worldwide. Gathering community and making art is a special passion and she has worked with up to 600 students at one time to complete a public mosaic.
Carol, having a successful career in painting and pottery, has been accepting commissions with mosaic work as well as being invited to show her work worldwide. She has won many honors and awards including works at Ciel Gallery, N.C. with Maestro Giulio Menossi, Italy, honoring her mosaic. Her mosaic portrait, In A Village has been displayed at The Museum of Man, San Diego during Mosaic Arts International 2009 after one year of mosaic experience. She was invited to display another portrait Fabulous Hair during Mosaic Arts International 2010 at Smith Museum of Stained Glass, Chicago, Ill., and was honored again to have another portrait on exhibition at Mosaic Arts International 2011 in Austin, Texas.
The dominant influence on Carol's work would be the simple joy of living. She is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, British Association of Mosaic Artists, Philadelphia Magic Gardens, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia Art Museum and a Juried member of The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.
Brent Sumner has been designing and creating large scale sculpted artworks for the past 12 years. He began by building sculpted earth buildings, woodwork and performance art pieces, and currently works with a variety of medium in his sculpture, including steel, wood and darjit.
Brent developed the architectural sculpting compound darjit. This material is made from recycled paper and a by-product from clay mining. The development of darjit influenced his approach to sculpture building as it is lightweight, very versatile, and a wide variety of effects and fine detailing can be achieved.
In 2002 Brent formed the company Alchymia Ltd to develop and produce Darjit and wood-fired ovens. His ovens are beautifully created and integrate outdoor kitchen and entertaining areas as aesthetic sculpted works of art.
Brent has since been commissioned to build many large scale sculptures and installations with Darjit. These commissions include a 12 foot Dolphin form for a festival site, a 30 foot floatable whale for a performance in Doubtless Bay, New Zealand, the"Dragon gate", a sculpted entrance with two large dragon-entwined columns, framing an intricate steel gate, and multiple large darjit sculptures in Taupo, New Zealand. Brent has also created several sculpted exterior garden installations that incorporate fountains, plantings, intricate lighting, fireplaces and intimate gathering areas.
Brent Sumner tutors sculpture workshops, using darjit on steel skeletal forms in both New Zealand and Australia.
Laurel True is an artist and educator specializing in mixed media, mosaic and public art. She received her BA in African Art and Cultures and has studied at Studio Arte del Mosaico in Ravenna, Italy, Universite Chiek Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, Parsons School of Design and the Art Institute of Chicago. True is the co- founder of the Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland, CA and has fostered education in the mosaic arts through teaching and lecturing around the world.
True has been creating public mosaics and facilitating community mosaic projects for almost 20 years and has helped to provide job training and arts education to under served communities in urban environments and developing areas. She has created hundreds of projects over the years, working with volunteers, assistants, students, trades people and artists of all ages on projects that reflect a sense of community pride and cultural significance in the locations where they are sited.
True's public and commissioned work, created through True Mosaics Studio, can be found in private and civic collections as well as in hospitals, in parks, on commercial buildings across the United States. Her visionary fine artwork has been exhibited nationally. She has been featured in many books and publications as well as appearing numerous times in local and national press and in the entertainment industry as a featured artist, mosaic expert, and instructor.
True has been known to create work that spontaneously emerges graffiti- like on concrete walls, in unexpected settings and materials- many times through spontaneous community participation.
Her community projects have been focused in West and East Africa, Oakland and New Orleans, where she not only works to encourage artistic expression through community mosaic making, but also helps to foster entrepreneurship, passing on skills that are economically viable.
Please visit her website at www.truemosaics.com.
Sherri Warner Hunter
Masthead: Detail of mosaic by Liz Williams