Welcome!

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Welcome to the Piece by Piece blog. Through this venue, we hope to bring you the stories of our participating artists and their work; introduce you to our amazing instructors; and share the progress of our projects.

A little history: Piece by Piece was founded by Sophie Alpert, who was inspired by a trip to South Africa, where she witnessed several successful micro-enterprise agencies that empowered participants by teaching them a marketable skill and helping them sell their work. Because mosaic is a tactile art and highly accessible to a wide range of experience and age, she thought to focus on this medium, with an emphasis on recycled materials. In 2007, we launched our first workshop. What began as a program to help underserved residents of Los Angeles earn some much needed supplemental income, became so much more as we developed and discovered many talented artists who had no outlet to express themselves or participate in a nurturing community.

About our program: Our workshops are more than classes. They are supportive environments where people can explore their creativity and learn a skill that develops not only their technical abilities, but enhances their sense of community and teamwork. This expressive freedom can provide relief to those overwhelmed by the challenges of life. Individuals can participate in the program by selling their art, working on commissions, and participating in larger projects such as public art, through a series of skills development workshops.

Expanding our horizons: Piece by Piece’s success has allowed us to grow tremendously since our beginnings six years ago. In 2012, recognizing the need to build our organizational capacity, Piece by Piece entered into a partnership with Skid Row Housing Trust. This partnership leverages the infrastructure and resources of the long-established Trust. Through this partnership, Piece by Piece will move into its first permanent home in Summer 2013. The program’s workshops and artistic staff will establish a gallery, workshop and administrative offices at the Trust’s Star Apartments in Downtown Los Angeles.

Our workshops: We have three workshops a week: an open workshop where artists can work on individual projects; directed studies, where we learn specific skills important to mosaic art; and a Visiting Artist program, which has been funded for three years by a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, and brings artists from around the country to teach with our participants.

We welcome your positive input and support of our artists through this new venue. If you would like to volunteer, donate or purchase artwork, please contact us through the link to the right.

Thank you! Dawn Mendelson Program Director

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Dawn Mendelson

Dawn Mendelson has provided leadership in the development of Piece by Piece since 2007. She has over time built an arts curriculum for participants that fosters learning in design, drawing, creativity and collage mosaic technique. As Piece by Piece Artistic Director, she steers the vision for workshops held at a variety of locations. Dawn specializes in pique assiette, a style of mosaic which uses recycled materials. She has been featured on HGTV and Dawn was twice selected as Educator with the Mayor's Gang Reduction Program. Her passion is working with people, especially those who are new to art, and enjoying their moments of self-discovery.