Artist profile 2016. Stay tuned for 2017.
My connections to art — making it, enjoying it, knowing its potential — start with my mother. She was a painter by training and profession, although like many artists she was involved with various media over time. I have early childhood memories of the Detroit Institute of Art and other museums, and of my mom giving my brother and me blank paper to color on because she didn’t want our imagination constrained by coloring books. While I am not artistically gifted nor driven like she was, I did absorb the power of art and of craft from her, along with being comfortable “messing around” (her term) with creative things and being absorbed in the process.
I still love “messing around.” As an adult this usually means 3-D projects that involve collage — recycling found bits and broken things into jewelry, paper collage, temporary sculptures, and mosaic. I love when everyday practical items are unique rather than mass produced, and recycling whenever possible is one of my basic values. As a result, my mosaics almost always take the form of rescuing a damaged table or other object with a practical purpose, using recycled tile and other materials. By making a mosaic on the damaged surface the piece is newly usable, more expressive, and unique. This is more craft than art if one makes such distinctions, although I do often have specific ideas, values, and especially paradoxes in mind during each piece.
I’ve volunteered at Mosaic (on the Board of Directors) for a number of years. I do mental health research for my profession, and like most people, have personal and family experience with mental illnesses. Given my life-long connection to visual arts, Create for Recovery was a natural. I have long been bothered by the financial obstacles Mosaic staff face in offering even minimal creative opportunities for clients. The current structure of U.S. mental health financing just does not allow for them, despite the deeply human and healing impact they can have. So, I joined at the very beginning of Create for Recovery’s conceptualization and am glad to have role in making in a reality. Join me!
Support Alicia’s campaign by donating here: https://www.crowdrise.com/mosaicsformosaic