Our distinguished Visiting Artist program brings professional artists from all over the world to Piece by Piece. These invited artists lead specialty workshops, lectures and hands-on instruction on a broader range of related arts mediums, including advanced mosaic art technique, color theory, decoupage, glass fusing, ceramics, sculpture and pique assiette
The goal of the Visiting Artists Series is to broaden the exposure to the arts for the population we serve enabling them to incorporate these new techniques and elevate the quality of their work to an entirely new, higher level.
Deb Aldo has been creating mosaics since 1997. While working as a landscape architect, she saw a large pebble mosaic on the cover of a magazine that inspired her to begin her own journey in business, Pietre Dure Design. Her team specializes in mosaics and architectural installations and fine art pieces for landscape spaces as well as interior settings. Deb has training and degrees in Art, Marketing and Landscape Architecture/Horticulture that have been invaluable in learning to visualize color, spatial relationships and the proper scale of the work with-in a space. Deb has been teaching art for over twenty years, including at RISD and the Mystic Art Center. Her business has produced custom commissions and exhibit pieces for private and commercial clients across the country.
Beth Barror graduated from Texas Women’s University with a B.S. in Fashion design and a minor in Photography, and has designed ladies’ fashion accessories for Brighton Accessories since 1990. In 2000 She created the “Enchanted Playhouse” for the Pasadena Showcase of Design and began her mosaic journey with a pair of colorful tiled window frames. From 2000 to 2004 she owned a life-style/gift store on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica where she continued working in mosaics and expanding her palette of materials to include glass, shells, crystals and anything else she thought might ‘stick’. Since 2002 she has also designed and created many large-scale projects for Brighton Collectibles across the U.S. from Palo Alto, CA to Paramus New Jersey.
Jolino Beserra’s extraordinary Pique-assiette (Peek-asyet) mosaic installations and functional mosaic sculptures defy tradition with whimsical and thoughtful humor. The legacy of past generations of pique-assiette mosaic artists formed Jolino’s commitment to excellence with a desire to push the boundaries of technique, materials and subject matter. Jolino’s vision is brought to life through an endless palette of familiar but discarded objects which have been vividly re-imagined in his mosaics. Whether creating a large public or residential site-specific installation or a tabletop sculpture, Jolino’s whimsical reinvention of found objects will ensure the creation of a timeless expression of our shared world.
Kim Emerson has been designing and creating mosaics for private and public spaces since 1991. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Architectural History, and Master of Science in Historic Preservation of Architecture from the University of Oregon, School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Prior to establishing her own business, Kim Emerson Mosaics, LLC, Kim worked for O’Connell Gallery in Portland, OR, Architect Milford Wayne Donaldson, F.A.I.A., and world-renowned artist James Hubbell in San Diego, CA. She has extensive experience working with non-profit organizations, in construction, arts education, galleries, and museums. Some of her largest commissions are located at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, the City of Carlsbad, the City of San Diego, San Diego Unified Port District, the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Citizen’s Council for the Arts in Couer d’ Alene, Idaho. Of her work, Kim says: “Expression as an artist for me comes through the medium of mosaics in the form of murals and three-dimensional sculpture. I carefully cut geometric “tesserae” of glass, ceramic tile and/or found objects and assemble them in a way that creates something representational or abstract. Mosaics are like permanent textured paintings that reflect light and shadows. Most of my work is designed to be site specific. The challenge for me is to design in harmony with the natural landscape or existing architectural design, thus reflecting environment and culture.”
Sherri Warner Hunter is a full time studio artist who creates public, private and community based commissions, as well as fine art Her art degrees are in sculpture and drawing from the Kansas City Art Institute, MO, and Claremont Graduate Universities, CA, but her training in mosaic and concrete has been through self exploration for more than two decades. Hunter is known for teaching sculpture, concrete, and mosaic workshops around the country and at her studio in Bell Buckle, TN. She has also authored two books on working with concrete: Making Concrete Garden Ornaments and Creative Concrete Ornaments for the Garden, both published by Lark Books. Her award winning artwork is included in numerous private collections and can be viewed publicly at the Memphis Selby County Public Library, TN; The TigerTown shopping complex in Opelika, AL, and at the Governor’s residence for the State of Tennessee. Hunter’s participation with community based projects include the mosaics at Turtle Grove, Albany, GA; “The Gathering” for the Oasis Center, Nashville, TN; and numerous projects with public and private schools.
Kelley Knickerbocker is a mosaic artist/instructor based in Seattle, WA, where she creates fine art mosaic for public, residential and gallery spaces. Her medium of choice is glass, often mixed with other media, and weekend workshops on her signature stacked glass mosaic technique take her all over North America. Kelley’s fine art mosaic works can be found in juried shows and private collections nationwide, as well as at her web site.
Laurie Mika is a mixed media artist, author and workshop instructor. Over the years she has developed a style of creating mosaics using handmade polymer clay tiles, jewelry parts, beads and found objects. Her work has been published in numerous books and magazines and in 2007, her own book, “Mixed Media Mosaics” was published. In television, she has been featured on both HGTV and DIY. She enjoys teaching and sharing the magic that is polymer clay. Laurie says: “Teaching has given me the opportunity to travel and meet incredibly creative and inspiring individuals around the world.”
Growing up in California’s Newport Beach and living most of her adult life in Santa Monica, seashell artist Janet Nordlinger has always had a love for the ocean. After many years as an interior designer, she discovered she loved creating home decor with the ocean’s gems. She was fortunate to begin selling to a home decor boutique in Santa Monica (an Oprah favorite) and now has expanded her collection and sells to shops and designers in Los Angeles and around the country.
The colorful and witty illustrations of Israeli illustrator and Piece by Piece Visiting Artist Hanoch Piven have appeared throughout he last 18 years on both sides of he Atlantic. Since 2003, Piven has been conducting Workshops in many countries. The Worksops follow the principles of Piven's own collage technique and encourage children and adults to experiment with common-day objects and piece of the world around them to create their own works of art. In March 2010 The Skirball Cultural Center in LA celebrated Piven's work with the exhibition Making Faces, Piven's first Museum Exhibition in the USA.
Karen Silton has been a full-time professional ceramist, fine art mosaicist and educator for the last twenty years. She has created an ongoing, ever expanding career as an artist due to her incredible versatility and design capabilities. She has also created numerous commissions for interior and exterior spaces. Her own evolution as a fine artist informs her most recent series of fine art mosaics that integrate her highly developed artistic skills with her intellectual capabilities and soulful, sensual expression. These have been included in a variety of high quality mosaic exhibitions as well. She is passionate about furthering her own growth as an artist and has studied with Isaiah Zagar, Luciana Notturni and Sherry Warner-Hunter. She seeks to balance this quest for her own growth with sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience with her students which she has been doing since 1998. She has a B.A. degree in Sociology from UCLA and a Certificate of Completion from Santa Monica College of Design, Art and Architecture.
Lillian Sizemore has studied mosaics at the prestigious Studio Arte del Mosaico in Ravenna, Italy, Art History at the Universitá de Bologna and holds degrees in Fine Art and Italian from Indiana University. A professional artist, educator, and scholar, she has served on the faculty at the Institute of Mosaic Art in Berkeley, and a visiting artist at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, and The Field Museum in Chicago.
Lillian travels widely, studying mosaic sites around the world. Her mosaics are featured in several books and magazines, including Mosaic Techniques and Traditions and Mosaic Art and Style. She authored A Guide to Mosaic Sites: San Francisco, a walker's guide to publicly accessible mosaic sites. She is a contributing writer for MosaicArtNOW. Lillian's current body of work combines geometric pattern with the mandala form in hand-cut stone, glass and minerals. She chronicles her work on her websites and blog. She lives in London, where she is a doctoral candidate at the Prince's School of Traditional Arts.
Lillian says, of her experience with Piece by Piece: "I am so happy to share my Mind’s Eye Mandala Workshop, geometry lessons, other original curriculum designed especially to build on the Piece by Piece artists' training. The mosaic work coming from this talented group is truly inspired and of the highest quality. I believe artful expression is a basic human need, and the creative imagination is a true healing force. Here are my Visiting Artist experiences with Piece by Piece: Part I • Part II
Aida Valencia is an innovative visual artist born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana with a bicultural tendency. Her sculptures are characterized by the use of intense colors reflecting her Mexican roots in a contemporary form. Her life-size works are full of color and movement. Aida uses copper, iron, glass, marble, semiprecious stones, and recyclable materials.
Aida's works have been exhibited internationally and she has been the recipient of several awards, including The Society of Amerian Mosaic Artists (SAMA) 2008 Contemporary Mosaic Exhibition's First Place award for her sculpture, "Imagination and Magic."
Charles Dickson is a Los Angeles-based artist who sculpts in a variety of media including wood, stone, and bronze. Largely self-taught, Dickson is inspired by classical art and the ancient cultures of Africa and Mexico. The artist incorporates his unique life experiences and surrounding urban environment to create pieces that express different perspectives of the African-American experience. He has been awarded several public commissions throughout southern California, and is currrently the Artist in Residence at Watts Towers Art Center.
Susan Gamble is the owner and principle tile artist at Santa Theresa Tile Works In 1986, after receiving her Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) from California State University at Long Beach, Susan returned to Tucson to open her home studio. As a result of winning a public art bid for the Tucson International Airport a year later, Susan realized that she preferred making larger public art pieces than decorative bowls. She taught herself the art of tile-making and found a huge demand for her handmade mosaic tile art in both commercial and residential spaces.
Santa Theresa Tile Works
Carol Shelkin creates contemporary, fine art, original and intricate mosaic designs that eminent care and attention to detail with hand cut, high quality stained glass and other glass materials. Taking to art as soon as she was able to hold a crayon, she started attending Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia at seven years old. It was made clear at a this young age that her life would be centered on her passion for art. She continued her artistic direction with studies at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia and studied under mosaic masters in Ravenna, Italy. Before being a full time artist and instructor, she owned a successful, arts nursery school/child care for many years. Carol received several grants from The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Upper Darby Arts and chosen to receive the prestigious Robin Brett Mosaic Scholarship for continued education from The Society of American Mosaic Artists to study in Italy. She is a Founding Member and current President of The Mosaic Society of Philadelphia. Carol finds a very eclectic approach to surface design, placing glass where she, as a painter naturally places paint.
Mireille Swinnen is Belgian by nationality but has lived abroad all her adult life. She currently lives in Los Angeles but dedicates a minimum of three months a year to her studio in Belgium where she teaches mosaics since 2006. Every year, Mireille organizes international workshops for her students in Venice, Spilimbergo, Rome or France (Paray-le-Monial) bringing much-needed foreign exposure and new techniques to her most dedicated students.
Over the past few years, Mireille has specialized in animal and human portraits in the preferred medium of her choice, smalti. Her work has been selected for various shows and exhibits, SAMA Chicago, SAMA Seattle, the yearly exhibit in Paray-le-Monial and multiple private exhibitions. On the basis her latest body of work, Mireille was recently appointed as the 2014 Artist in Residence at the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, a promise of new skills and possibilities which she hopes to incorporate in her future mosaics.
Matt Doolin is cofounder and partner of Topanga Art Tile (Bahloo Studios), and an Artist/Designer of handmade tile and murals including mosaics and sculptural work, including extensive experience with onsite installations. His projects and distribution worldwide include: Japan, Thailand, Australia, Mexico, New York, Florida, Hawaii and more. Matt says: "A major part of doing this kind of work is the desire to do public art pieces, which I consider to be a very high form of artistic application, and for me, a higher purpose. It is art for the people and has benefits for the larger society in many ways. So many of the great destinations in the world are embellished with this type of artistic expression, and it has been a goal of mine to work towards these kinds of projects. I am lucky to have been involved in a number of significant projects of this nature, and ceramics lends itself to this kind of art work very well. I continue to pursue such work for these reasons."