June with her first sold piece. (Thank you to Trevor Davis for photo.)
Piece by Piece artisan June has an effervescent spirit. She is gentle and enthusiastic. She is optimistic and inclusive. She is finding her way through a new phase in her life, and always looks to help others through supportive words and kindness. She began to include Piece by Piece in her journey almost two years ago, and has embraced the art of mosaic and our community since. Last year, she became an Artisan and sold her first piece. In fact, the piece was so appreciated, someone else commissioned a second one to give as an award. She has contributed to many group projects including a spirit animal totem, a series of mandalas, and several smaller pieces.
In beginning mosaic workshop.
How did you hear about Piece by Piece?
Through a manager at Skid Row Housing Trust. I was looking for a creative program, some artistic experience. I was going to LACMA with my daughter quite a bit and was inspired.
June attends most every beginning, community and open studio workshops on a weekly basis.
What does inspire you?
The artist Dominique Moody. Rembrandt. Van Gogh. I love his Starry Night! Nature. Ansel Adams. Whale watching. Steinbeck. The Caribbean inspires me because of their recycled materials…they make use of everything. Tires for shoes; coconuts, shells. Art has always been in my life. I just didn’t have a focus until I got here.
June's first piece was this small frame.
What materials do you like to use in your mosaic work?
I love all tesserae! I love pique assiette [recycled china]; incorporating jewelry and stones; iridescent glass and natural materials, both. I love using what we have.
From a recent workshoposts during our Earth appreciation month.
What do you want to do learn about more?
I want to do more pieces with a nature theme, waterfalls.
June with Piece by Piece artisan John, working on a group project.
What do you enjoy about Piece by Piece workshops?
Being happy, confident. I love thinking about a project and the process. I put all my energy into it and I know once I get going, it’ll be all right. I love the push technique. I love feeling good about myself, creating something I can be proud of, and showing the world what I can do.
Working on mandala project for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
What do you feel you can contribute to the Piece by Piece community?
Inclusion. I share my life with so many different cultures. We all have similar problems. I enjoy the friendships I have made here, and I love being a part of an organization that has so much integrity. There is always someone you can count on for support here. Homelessness crosses all boundaries, it effects all people. A rose can grow from the ground.
June's advice to her fellow Piece by Piece artists: Everything you go through is temporal. You must keep hope, faith. Keep at your self-discovery. Ask for help. It’s okay to let your guard down and admit you need help. Keep at your desire to be better.
Thank you, June!