This project is a culmination of my 25 years as a mosaic artist, 35 years of restaurant work and 51 years of being human. It embodies everything I am passionate about and love: art, family, friends, film and travel. It is about connection, re-connection, relationships, human touch, unity, inclusion, contribution and collaboration at a time we all need, all through art. If I have learned anything from this unrivaled time in our collective history, it is how much we need each other and the importance of in-person relationships.
As a result of the pandemic, I was feeling the need for human connection and the importance of relationships. Setting out on July 1, 2021, using art as a way to connect, I drove 25,000 miles across the country in my Subaru, for a total of seven months, visiting family and friends in 38 states. In all, a total of 552 people participated! Each person created a mosaic to contribute to the final piece, a fabric woven by those who have touched and shaped my life.
‘Piecing Us Together’ is a truly unique large-scale mosaic. A massive community project, done on a very intimate level. In keeping with the entire journey and story, it is extremely organic and has its own unique rhythm. It is rich with color and texture. Not only does it depict the beauty and diversity of the individuals who contributed, but that of the vast landscape of this country. The hand-made undulating substrate gives the overall piece added texture and movement, accentuating the visual flow of lines. The color scheme is a representation of the four places I have lived, which defines how I know the participant. In addition to the concept and design of this piece, my hand is found in the 24kt gold smalti that fills in the lines between the rows, the thread that ties us all together.
Between the pandemic and political division, several themes emerged and are conveyed in this project: the importance of human connection, unity, inclusion, diversity and collaboration. In addition, the mosaic symbolizes the importance of individual contribution and its collective positive effect. Holding cultural and historical significance, it speaks to our times.
I have highly documented this project from start to present with intentions of a documentary and book down the road, as the journey is not quite over. This story continues to grow in so many ways.
2/10/23 I am currently in the process of finding exhibition spaces in several locations throughout the country. I am extremely excited to get this out there and share this with you, especially those who participated! Below are updates I sent from the road if you are interested in seeing how the journey unfolded and several stories that the local news did on the story.
▶️ Traveling Tapestry: Redmond woman embarks on cross-country art project
▶️ ‘Piecing Us Together’: Local woman returns from 131-day artistic adventure
▶️ 40 states, 18 months: Redmond mosaic artist finally pieces us all together