I find myself racing to keep up with the momentum that is 2016 at Rachel Sager Mosaics.
Some days I can only sit back in wonder at the heady mix of renovation, visiting travelers, studio work, and teaching that are all parts of a vision taking shape. The Ruins Project has begun in earnest now. Major contributions by Deb Englebaugh, Kelley Knickerbocker, Erin Pankratz, and Meghan Walsh have begun what I expect to become a tradition of far flung visiting artists making their signature marks on the walls. Julie Sperling comes in October! The first Ruins Project students left wonderful work behind in May and the next group will arrive in September to explore what is possible in intuitive andamento, a new phrase I am using to describe what is possible within the line. The magic of The Ruins attracts people from all walks of life.
One of my favorite surprises has been the receptivity of local Fayette County residents. So many of us here come from coal. Our fathers, uncles, brothers, and grandfathers mined coal and left behind legacies of loyalty to an industry that was terribly hard on a family unit. I am humbled daily by people who share their stories of what Banning #2 coal mine meant to them. Some of them have taken the leap to learning my particular brand of mosaic and are becoming important contributors.
As an artist who feels deeply rooted to her place, I am being challenged to travel the world as a teacher. This fall will be my first international gig at the Jaton Mosaic School in Buenos Aires. I look forward to meeting the mosaicists of Argentina! Other destinations include Camp Bella Soul in Maine, Blue Heron Studio, San Diego, and the Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art, California. A future collaborative project in Ireland is also in the works.
Now that the studio is operational, the work is flowing like a river again. Keep an eye out for new images in the portfolio section. Sincere gratitude to the patrons who play such a vital role in keeping me working. Buying the art continues to be the most direct supporting role in keeping the wolf from the door and the roof over my head. All that translates into more art.
As a future student of Rachel Sager Mosaics, whether at The Ruins or across the world, know that I take great care in creating an atmosphere that combines fun, rigorous technique, and philosophical inspiration. I want to convince you that, yes, the line can make you a better person. With every class I lead, I see that teaching you to walk the line in mosaic is one of my great joys in life.