The worktables are strewn with colorful smalti, or hand-cut glass rectangles, each waiting to take its place in a mosaic. As the students pore over the confetti-like cornucopia, each piece seems to whisper “pick me, pick me.” The students have excellent guidance as they make their selections; renowned artist Lisa Houck, who has created mosaics for the Boston Children’s Hospital, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the Frieda Garcia Park in the South End, will instruct the class in mosaic design, history and techniques. By the time this workshop for adults draws to a close, each student will have crafted an 8” x 8” mosaic to take home.
However, at the April vacation mosaics workshop for 5th through 8th graders taught by Museum of Fine Arts instructor Bette Ann Libby, the students will have the honor of leaving their work behind. After the students smash abandoned and rejected ceramics to use as raw materials, they will reassemble the pieces into an image based on Maud Morgan’s work, and the final project will be installed at Maud Morgan Arts.
Meanwhile, Maud Morgan Arts is teaming up with Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville to form a mosaic of a different sort, a collaboration focusing on makerspaces. A makerspace is, according to the Artisan’s Asylum website, “a community center with tools.” It is a place where community members can have access to equipment and machinery that is prohibitively large or expensive for an individual to own. Some makerspaces also rent studios and/or offer classes. The goal of this partnership is to pool Maud Morgan Arts’ resources for visual artists and Artisan’s Asylum’s resources for electronics, metalworking, sewing and woodworking, and see what creativity can blossom from the fusion of art and science.