June C.

Mosaic Artist

"It takes a village to raise a child!"

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 has embraced the art of mosaic and our community since she arrived. 

Any personal information you want to share?
I believe that having an outlet to express my vision of life through art is a beginning of healing . Art is a special place of finding sanity in a dehumanizing world. Art reflect life on every society.

Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Born in Los Angeles — South Central.

Tell us about your family.
My family was valuable support for me in my younger years. My mother and father who worked many years and didn’t live their full lives were cut short by health issues. My mother was 47 years old and dad 58 years old when they passed. Time is supposed to heal all wounds but the loss and grief is real. It begin the break down of my immediate support.

Tell us about past work/school or other meaningful experiences.
Cal State Dominguez Hills South West Community College Trade Tech / Los Angeles child development. I am a life long learner.

What is something you are proud of?
I am most grateful and proud of my children. They have managed to be responsible adults. I proud of myself that I survived domestic violence and homelessness at the time I was diagnosed with breast cancer — I am a survivor. I am grateful to have a place to rest my head and practice self care. My daughters are college graduates so I know my work has not been in vain. Once a parent always a parent. I love being in service of my community and striving to be the best person that I can be. I am proud of my art skills and the beauty I can create. I am able to show the world that out of concrete a rose can grow. I am proud of myself to have never given up my pride.

When did you first come to Piece by Piece?

How have you grown as a person and artist since joining Piece by Piece?
I found Piece by Piece through a flyer that was giving to me by a caseworker at the Persian Square Apartment supportive housing. I went to a community workshop and got interested. I learned from the teachers who gave their time to help me and believed in me. I found myself blooming creating portraits of peoples that have influenced my life. Mosaics have a lifetime of beauty long after. It is a feeling of freedom and a way for me to convey to people what I think. Since my journey with the art program, I have been received commissions, and learned about other artists, and have really honed my craft!

How did you first hear about Piece by Piece?
A flyer in my building on Skid Row, where I was living. I needed something to do that was positive. The environment is so sad, I just didn’t want to give up on my life.

What has Piece by Piece and creating mosaics added to your life?
Love, joy, acceptance, and community. It’s a greater place to find solace and peace in a noisy corrupt world. It has given me true friendship and calm.

Who inspires you?
Historically, Winnie Mandela and Nina Simeon, Alice Walker, Dr. Francis Crestwell, Angela Davis, Queen Enzinga, Sojourn Truth, Harriet Tubman, Queen Memmin, Dr. Cornell West, Julius Malema, and Nelson Mandela. Personally, my mother Marjorie Cigar and sister Cheryl Cigar.

What project have you enjoyed most? And why?
The Phoenix Firestone project was special because I was working with Dawn, Ms. Luz, Ms. Bea, and gifted artist Noni Olobishi who passed away after the project was completed.

What are you most proud of from your PxP time so far?
In the midst the pandemic, hell breaking out with gunshots running amuck, Piece by Piece keeps us all engaged in creating mosaics. It is profound work that keeps us learning and developing our skills.