"Still Beating" Installed at Linked-in new building! 222 2nd Street, San Francisco!

I am happy and honored to announce that my sculptural mosaic Heart "Still Beating" has been installed in the lobby of the new Linked-in Building in downtown San Francisco!

222 2nd Street is the address!

The building has a colossal public space as well as well as a public lobby. The Heart-work can be seen in the lobby or from the street through windows.

In case you were wondering where you are...

In case you were wondering where you are...

the building has a massive open public space with tables chairs and lots of fresh air!

the building has a massive open public space with tables chairs and lots of fresh air!

the building has a massive open public space with tables chairs and lots of fresh air!

the building has a massive open public space with tables chairs and lots of fresh air!

The troops coaxing it out of hibernation...

The troops coaxing it out of hibernation...

...nothing going on here, nothing to see...

...nothing going on here, nothing to see...

Just a little break before they and 7 other guys hoist this 650 lb baby up a short flight of stairs. I WISH I had videoed that! Incredible!

Just a little break before they and 7 other guys hoist this 650 lb baby up a short flight of stairs. I WISH I had videoed that! Incredible!

The Big Reveal!

...And now some gratuitous shots of the happy father posing by his baby! LOL!

from the street

from the street

The Perfection Trap

Recently I came up against a frustration that I thought was worthy of writing about as it was a good lesson for myself.

From the moment I saw them in person, I’ve always been in love with the famous Byzantine mosaic portraits of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora that face each other in the church of San Vitale in Ravenna. I am in good company; these are many peoples’ favorites however my desire to do reproductions of them has haunted me for years and I have finally embarked on doing so.

As I worked on Justinian I was for the most part pleased until it came time to lay the considerable amount of gold in the figure, halo and background.
There was something bugging me about what I was doing that was not capturing the soul of this mosaic for me.
The andamento was correct and clear and I was staying as true to the original as I could. But there was something wrong; and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it.


So I started consulting with my friend Luca in Ravenna who works with Luciana Notturni and her associates who were my teachers.
Luca started pointing out “less regular shapes, less regular shapes, you must mix up the size and dimensions and angles of the shapes”

Luca reminded me of my roots in Ravenna where Luciana Notturni encourage us not to use perfect cuts so as not to make it look machine made but hand-made.
Now, I teach my students that the way you lay the tesserae is much more important than having perfect cuts, but in my own practice I had lost sight of this and wasn’t practicing what I preached!
I teach andamento principles and cleanliness so much that I had forgotten this until His Majesty the Emperor appeared on my easel.

I was trying to stay true to the original as much as possible but I had forgotten somewhere along the way the charm and personal character that imperfect cuts lends to a piece. These in particular.

Also over the years, as I had become better at cutting,  become more experienced and regularly taught andamento to my students in a very clean way,  I had drifted away from this principle.
In my own work I tend to work very clean and consistently, and…(I can still hear Luciana and Annalisa’s voices in my ear “too tight Michael”)
Even when I was doing reproductions I was using the existing andamento lines of the original,  but cleaning them up and making the interstices much more consistent.
This made them clear for the eye but change the look in character of them a bit.


I think in our modern, technological, super clean precise world there is a tendency to strive for surgical precision. I don’t think this is wrong, I just think for me it removes some of the human element from the character of the work.
For my own work I think it may be a matter of me sensing when it is more appropriate to be super clean or strict,  and when it’s more appropriate to be a bit looser and imperfect. For me that often depends on the subject or idea and how I can best illustrate that subject or idea. More of a "feel" rather than a rule. The lesson for me was that, at least for reproducing ancient and Byzantine mosaics, staying with the looser and imperfection of the cuts and laying was the way to go. That’s where part of the character, beauty and charm of them lie.

For instance this very clean-cut border has MUCH less character in my opinion than... 

...this version, which is much closer to the original.

But when it came time to lay the gold in the background I worked with the existing andamento lines but cleaned them up in my usual fashion and found that it looked terrible.
Totally missing the character of the imperfect cuts and imperfect laying lines of the original.

After consulting with Luca in Ravenna, even when I tried to consciously vary the shape of tesserae I found myself laying in clean lines unlike the original.
It ended up looking more like some Venetian styles where everything is perfectly fit together,  than it did the Ravenna style the original was done in. This resulted in it being clean and correct, but completely unsatisfying style-wise or character-wise to me.

My friend Michael Photopoulos, who works a lot with iconography, compared the looser Byzantine Ravenna styles to a textured velvet; meant to be seen from a bit of a distance. As opposed to some more modern Venetian styles to silk; that look perfect and seamless even up close. I like that comparison.

 

So after struggling some more in the studio and talking to a couple of other colleagues, I discovered that to get that look, it involves a conscious effort to actually try to cut irregular pieces and lay them slightly irregularly.
So I set to work purposely pre-cutting irregular shapes. More than once I had to laugh at myself when I found myself hesitant to lay the tessera and reaching for the hammer to adjust the cut to fit more smoothly! It was almost compulsive at this point!

Set it, Adjust it, Leave it. As my colleague Lawrence Payne says: https://www.facebook.com/364148084728/photos/a.10154054775054729.1073741872.364148084728/10153327195164729/?type=3&theater

 

 

It took a conscious effort to not adjust it and get it out of my hand and laid in the approximate background andamento with not such clean interstices. BUT in the end I was absolutely thrilled with the stylistic outcome and had to go back and roughen up what I had already cut and laid the previous day. There’s way more to do but I’m staying with the rough cuts for the background. Another advantage of working the gold looser is that you have the ability of tilting the tesserae slightly in various directions as the Byzantines did to reflect the available light from many directions.

 

For myself I had to take a lesson to beware of the perfection trap. I think that sometimes with too much perfection you may sacrifice the human element in the look of a mosaic. We want to see YOU and YOUR hand. Not a machine’s perfection.

I like to say "Strive for excellence, not perfection. There is a difference."

La Primavera selected for 2016 Mosaic Arts International Exhibit in San Diego

Dear Michael Kruzich,

We are very pleased to inform you that your work, La Primavera, has been selected to be included in the Mosaic Arts International 2016: Fine Art exhibition at Women’s Museum of California at Liberty Station in San Diego, CA.  We received over 200 entries from artists all over the world. The 2016 Jurors, Elaine M. Goodwin, Sherri Warner Hunter, and Bernice Steinbaum, carefully considered every piece. Their dedicated work culminated in the selection of 35 works for inclusion in the MAI Fine Art exhibition to be held from March 30 – May 27, 2016.  Congratulations! 

La Primavera.JPG

"Still Beating"-Located at the corner of Geary and Powell, Union Square, San Francisco through October 2015

"Still Beating" is a large-scale sculptural mosaic created for the Hearts for San Francisco Program benefitting the Trauma Center at San Francisco General Hospital. It represents aproximately 930 hours of work and over 54,500 hand-cut and laid tesserae in natural stone, Italian smalti, 24-k gold and Swarovski crystals. It lives at the corner of Geary and Powell streets in Union Square, San Francisco through October 2015.

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation Reveals 25 New Heart Designs for the 2015 ‘Hearts in San Francisco’ Series

      Heroes&Hearts    Hearts After Dark

Benefiting San Francisco General Hospital Foundation

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation Reveals 25 New Heart Designs for the 2015 ‘Hearts in San Francisco’ Series

Sales of the hearts to raise much-needed funds for vital initiatives at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

SAN FRANCISCO (December 4, 2014) San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (the Foundation) announced today that it will debut the brand new artworks of the Hearts in San Franciscoseries at the tenth annual Heroes & Hearts Luncheon and Hearts After Dark on Thursday February 12, 2015 on the field at AT&T Park. The 25 new hearts feature a variety of designs, ranging from reflective chrome, Swarovski crystals, wood panels, Polaroid photos, kaleidoscope-like shapes and more. The series includes nine large hearts, five table top hearts and 11 mini mosaic hearts. Each heart will be sold to raise funds to support vital programs and initiatives at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (The General). Hearts in San Francisco artworks combined with Heroes & Hearts and Hearts After Dark proceeds (2004 - 2014) have raised more than $11.5 million for The Foundation.

The unique heart sculptures, found throughout the city, have become iconic to San Francisco locals and tourists alike, serving as a reminder the vital role of The General. After the Hearts events, select large hearts may remain on display in San Francisco's Union Square. The artists selected for the 2015 series are Kristine Brandt, Beka Brayer, Tom Connelly, Sara Dykstra, Kristin Farr, Dora Aldworth Grinnell, Michael J. Kruzich, Laura Lineback, Mackiebuilder.com, Kristine Mays, Polaroid SF, Barbara Schlein, Swarovski Crystal and Jeffery Thompson. In addition, the eleven mini mosaic artists are Randina Casenza, Gina Dominguez, Elizabeth Grindon, Dmitry Grudsky, Sofia Harrison, Wenia Lee, Jill Stevenson Ritter, Karen Thompson, Joi Tripp, Ann Watters and Wesley Wong. Additional details about the mini-mosaic artists will be released at a later date. Images of the mini-mosaics are available here.

“As the Foundation prepares for the new hospital to open in December 2015, we are honored to have so many local artists and designers that have contributed their talent to help spread the word about The Heart of Our City,” says Schuyler Hudak, Co-Chair of Heroes & Hearts and Hearts After Dark. “The 10th anniversary of the luncheon will host the most diverse group of heart designs, which celebrate the uniqueness of our great city.”

The 2015 Heroes & Hearts Luncheon takes place on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at AT&T Park. Tickets for the event range in price from $300 for single seats to $5,000 for event sponsorship. To purchase tickets or to find out more about sponsorship, call 415-206-4478 or visit sfghf.org/events/heroes- hearts/tickets/. For more information about Hearts After Dark, visit: sfghf.org/events/hearts-after-dark/

Event sponsors include Kaiser Permanente, Webcor Builders, Wells Fargo, McKesson Foundation, PG&E, The Stanley S. Langendorf Foundation, UnitedHealth Group, VISA, Macy’s, The Mary Wohlford Foundation, Jeanne and Sanford Robertson and Walgreens. Media sponsors include 7x7, JC Decaux, KCBS All News 740 AM and 106.9 FM, NBC Bay Area, San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco Chronicle|SFGate.com and Where magazine.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Large Hearts (5’ tall x 5’9” wide x 3’3” deep)

MICHAEL J. KRUZICHMichael was trained at the renowned Mosaic Art School in Ravenna, Italy by Maestra Luciana Notturni and her colleagues. He maintains a professional studio practice in San Francisco called MKMosaics, producing fine art mosaics and commissions for private and commercial clients. His piece, “Still Beating!” features an image of a heart-rate monitor that creates the outline of the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. Each tessera, a mixture of Natural Stone, Italian Smalti (glass), 24-k Gold (glass) and Swaravski Crystals, is cut by hand and laid one-by-one. There are over 54,500 tesserae in the entire sculptural mosaic and collectively represents more than 930 hours of work in the span of 3 months.

'Still Beating!' Slideshow

https://www.dropbox.com/s/r054zf9mbojsz2s/Still%20Beating%21-Hearts%20for%20San%20Francisco%202015.m4v?dl=0

I requested to thank many people in the press release however apparently there was not the space to do so. I would like to here thank my die-hard assistants and colleagues during the final two weeks from left to right; Eric Arndorfer, James V. Henry, and Liz Williams! Also Escott Jones and my distributors diMosaico and Marc Stellon. I absolutely would not have been able to achieve this without their generous support, assistance and encouragement!

Michael J. Kruzich

About San Francisco General Hospital Foundation

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (the Foundation) is an independent not-for-profit corporation 501(c)(3) that provides fundraising support to San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (The General). The Foundation is dedicated to promoting excellence in research, education and care for all at The General. Funds raised by the Foundation allow The General to continue its long history of providing quality health care to San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Some of the programs funded wholly or in part by the Foundation include the Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center, the Children’s Health Center, the Acute Care for Elders (ACE Unit, Cancer Awareness Resources Education (C.A.R.E.), the Bay Area Perinatal AIDS Center (BAPAC) and the Orthopedic Trauma Institute. For more information, please visit www.sfghf.org.

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Past News and Events

Aperto Restaurant
 Reception

September 23rd 2013
 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=554980097902165&set=gm.23468399334

8883&type=1&theater

American Art Collector
 !Published!

Juried Competition of New Work
2013 Edition, Alcove Books, page 150
 http://www.alcovebooks.net/index.html

Mosaic Art Now

Tis the season to be merry and bright so, we’re packing this week’s BOM with festive mosaic inspiration.

First up, The Editor wrote her List, checked it Twice and now has her fingers crossed that Santa thinks she has been a very, very good girl this year.  In our second Featured article, we revisit our profile of Sara Baldwin, Founder of New Ravenna, Designer of Award Winning Mosaics and Kisser of Camels.  And finally, what could be more festive than a visit with 10 queens – Drag Queens, that is – the San Francisco Muses who captured the heart of mosaic artist Michael Kruzich.

However you celebrate and whatever stars you find yourself under this holiday season, we wish you great joy.  Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of you for your continued good wishes for MAN.

  Heroes with Bling: SF Drag Queens Immortalized in Mosaic by Michael Kruzich

 PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

United States, (August 15, 2011) - San Francisco artist wins international recognition. 

Artist Michael Kruzich from San Francisco, California wins international recognition by being selected as an award winner in Infinity Art Gallery's juried Figurative Expo 2011. Kruzich's artwork "Sylvester" received the Director's Choice award. 

Gallery Director, Julie Weismann in selecting her piece stated: "Sylvester takes me back to the 80's while living in the Bay Area-dancing, partying, watching the drag shows. The 80's was also a time of devastating loss of so many of my friends and wonderful men to AIDS. Kruzich's memorial to Sylvester is simply beautiful. His mosaic work and detail is exquisite. This piece brings joy to my heart. Thank you!."

Kruzich's artwork can be seen online at www.infinityartgallery.com/figurative-expo. The art exhibit opened August 15, 2011 and will be on display until November 15, 2011.

Infinity Art Gallery is a commission free gallery and encourages collectors to contact the artist directly. Artist's contact information is available by clicking on the hyperlink displayed within the large artwork view.

Julie Weismann

Gallery Director

www.InfinityArtGallery.com

 

Market Street Gallery

is pleased to present Heroes with Bling; an exhibit to celebrate the sparkling diamonds of the San Francisco queer community. This exhibition will showcase Mosaic Arts International 2011's Member's choice Award winning artist, Michael J. Kruzich, published Photographer, Art Director & Stylist, Jose A Guzman Colon, and acclaimed Photographer, Marianne Larochelle. The exhibit will open June 7, 2011, and run through June 29, 2011. The artist reception will be held on Saturday, June 11th, 2011, from 6 PM - 8 PM. Market Street Gallery will also be hosting a Pride kick-off event on Thursday, June 23rd, 2011, from 6 PM - 8 PM.

Drag queens or drag personalities, we love them all! They are bigger than life! They are bubbly (and a lot of the time, they drink bubbly)! They project an intense amount of positive energy inspiring everyone to smile from ear-to-ear and happily wave right back at them! Drag queens are the sparkling diamonds of the queer community's tiara; the shine, the light, the energetic force which makes all queer events super special. They do so much for the queer community, Market Street Gallery created this exhibition to celebrate them! This exhibition is our way of saying 'thank you' to our "Heroes with Bling" during the entire month of June, Pride 2011.

Miss Anita Cocktail [2010, Michael J. Kruzich, 28" x 12", stone, smalti, & vitreous glass] the Mosaic Arts International 2011's Member's choice Award winning piece will be on exhibit. Miss Anita Cocktail was the first of Michael J. Kruzich's Series of local San Francisco Drag Persona created to pay homage to “fabulous stars of the San Francisco Drag scene”. This is the first ever public exhibition of Michael J. Kruzich's Series of local San Francisco Drag Persona series and the first mosaic drag persona series ever created by a mosaic artist.

Daffney Deluxe, one of many gorgeously exuberant photographs from the Glam Gender series, will be on display for the Heroes with Bling exhibit. Glam Gender is a collaboration between photographer, Marianne Larochelle and Art Director, Jose Guzman-Colon. The two talents have teamed up on this exciting photography project that explores and confronts the traditional concept of glamour. Glam Gender is an evolving body of work featuring many of the most exciting and talented artists and performers in San Francisco.

Heroes with Bling

Award winning mosaic works by Michael J. Kruzich

Vibrant photography by Jose A Guzman Colon & Marianne Larochelle

June 7, 2011 – June 29, 2011

Opening reception: Saturday, June 11th , 6pm - 8pm

Pride kick-off Party: Thursday, June 23rd , 6pm – 8pm 

For the iPhone/iPad users, click on this link to create an event in your calendar:

Heroes with Bling @ 1554 Market Street Gallery (SF, CA)

June 11, 2011, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM 

Heroes with Bling @ 1554 Market Street Gallery (SF, CA)

June 23, 2011, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Market Street Gallery      |     1554 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102     |      415.290.1441
Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM     |     You can also call for an appointment
Website:   www.marketstreetgallery.com          |         Follow us on Facebook - twitter - YouTube

 A GETBIZI.COM Promotion

Michael Kruzich: Artist’s Statement

I have lived in SF for 16 years and been a delighted observer and participant in the gay community since I moved here. I have seen a cornucopia of  “characters”  that make up the weave of fabric that is this wondrous city I call home, but some of the brightest gems  I have witnessed and appreciated in my days here have been the drag artists.

This doesn’t mean I necessarily know that much about the drag community, nor that I even know all of my subjects personally. But the aura of magic and inspiration that I have absorbed from them every time I encounter them was enough to motivate me to use my gifts to salute them in the meticulous and long-lasting art-form of mosaic.

Originally my idea was for a smaller series to use as a visual examples of my work for a very specific idea I have for a public mosaic project in the Castro that I’d like to present to the proper “committees” in the future. But as I got further into the series it began to mean more and I was compelled to go further into depth with my chosen subjects.

There is more to these “ladies” than just what is seen on the surface. Yes, they instantly elevate whatever situation they appear in; lightening the heart, exuding joy, displaying razor sharp wit and carrying themselves with a royal and unapologetic pride that challenges the staunchest conservative to disapprove. 

But behind all that, many of them are the truest and most dedicated humanitarians you could ask for in any community; working tirelessly for charities, fundraising events and supporting the growth and rights of local and worldwide causes. And some of that drag takes REAL commitment! 

In my mind, they, and related groups like the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” are some of the most visible and outspoken heroes of our LGBT community; ambassadors of good will and diversity in a challenging world.

In antiquity, when my chosen art-form originated, mosaic was often used to record what was going on at that time in history; from day to day life, to local wildlife, to pivotal events and battles. In that vein I feel that my work documents some of the contemporary aspects of my world that I find inspirational in a form that will last for lifetimes to come as many ancient mosaic works have.

There would be no way for me to portray all of the fabulous stars of the San Francisco Drag scene, as each mosaic takes weeks or months of meticulous work, but this series represents a good year and a half of work. I’m very proud of the subjects I have chosen and admire them all greatly. I hope you enjoy them and that they foster in you a great appreciation of these vibrant heroes of our community!

Have Fun!!!

 

For Immediate Release

Michael J Kruzich
kruzline@insf.net

415-312-8296

Michael J Kruzich SELECTED FOR INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY MOSAIC ART

Exhibition will showcase mosaic artists from across the world as they take mosaic art to new levels

February 18, 2011-March 30, 2011

AUSTIN TX, February 10, 2011 – The Society of American Mosaic Artists has selected the work of local artist, Michael J Kruzich, to be included in this year’s Mosaic Arts International, an annual juried exhibition of member’s work.  Mosaic art, one of the world’s oldest art forms, is experiencing a major revitalization.  Fine artists around the world are discovering the unrivaled and compelling magnificence of the art form and materials in achieving their artistic vision.  The Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) and the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) in Austin, Texas present “Mosaic Arts International”, a juried exhibition that explores the very best of this revitalization.  MAI will premier on February 18th and remain on view through March 30th, 2011.

“This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to highlight outstanding examples of contemporary mosaic art from around the world in one venue, to allow viewers to experience the exciting new ways that artists are taking this art form to another level,” said Shug Jones, President of the SAMA Board of Trustees.  “These artists, building on traditional and ancient art, are using both traditional and non-traditional materials to really push the art to a degree unseen in recent history.”  

MAI presents 42 works selected from more than three hundred entries submitted by artists in ten countries.  Materials such as smalti, glass, tile, and metal have found their way into the work of these artists.  The exhibit includes 2 dimensional, 3 dimensional, and architectural works.  Prizes totaling $5,000 will be awarded for the best in each of these categories as well as for ‘Best in Show’.  An award ceremony announcing the winners will take place during Mosaic Art Summit, the annual conference of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, which will be held this year in Austin, TX, February 16-20.  

Michael J Kruzich is a San Francisco mosaic artist who is classically trained in Ravenna Italy. His selected work “Anita Cocktail” is one in a series-in-progress of portraits of San Francisco drag personalities in honor of their heroic work for the local LGBT community. The series is scheduled to be exhibited at Market Street Gallery in San Francisco during Pride month-June of 2011. Michael works mostly in the classical materials of Stone and Italian Smalti and the selected piece is 28” x 12” in size.

Ms. Jones adds, “We invite the public to attend.  This show is impressive in every respect.  We are very excited to introduce Austin’s enthusiastic arts community to these outstanding mosaicists.  Austin is a city obsessed with the arts in every form and this year our exhibition will coincide with an Austin institution, the South by Southwest conferences and festivals.  What a wonderful opportunity to educate so many creatively charged people about what’s happening in mosaic art!”

Art collectors are beginning to gain a true appreciation of the richness of the art form and the texture that plays such an important factor in the work.  SAMA artists create 2D, 3D, sculptural and architectural works, from micro-mosaics using tessarae (literally pieces) the size of the head of a pin to colossal architectural installations, creating art that is both compelling and enduring.  MAI is a highly competitive annual exhibition that unites innovative design and masterful technique as explored by some of the best international artists working in the medium.

The panel of jurors for this year’s exhibition included Jean Ann Dabb, a professor of art history at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia; Nola Diamantopoulos, President of the Mosaic Art Association of Australia and New Zealand, and Jean Graham, coordinator of Austin Art in Public Places.

The Society of American Mosaic Artists, a dynamic group of more than 1,200 members, is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring, and promoting excellence in mosaic arts.  More information about SAMA can be found at www.americanmosaics.org

The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation, creation, presentation, and promotion of Mexican American cultural arts and heritage.  It is located at 600 River Street, Austin, TX.  For more information call 512-974-3770.

Michael J Kruzich is available for commissions, classes and private viewings.

MK Mosaics

http://mkmosaics.com

Contact:

Gwyn Kaitis

groland@americanmosaics.org

815-919-2576

###

Winner

2010 “Mosaic Arts International”

Juror’s Choice Award

 

Published

Mosaic Fine Art Portraits

 a collection from some of the finest contemporary mosaic artists worldwide, is the first book in a series that presents mosaic art as fine art. The five featured artists discuss the philosophy that drives their work, their discovery of mosaic art, and their personal journeys as artists. The book includes a gallery of sixty-four mosaic portraits by contemporary artists and an insightful introduction by the prominent mosaic artist George Fishman. Mosaic Fine Art Portraits is an art book not to be missed.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Michael J. Kruzich

kruzline@isnf.net

MICHAEL KRUZICH’S WORK SELECTED FOR INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY MOSAIC ART

Chicago, February 28, 2010-The Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) has selected work by local artist, Michael J. Kruzich, to be included in this year’s Mosaic Arts International (MAI) 2010, its annual juried exhibition of members’ outstanding work. The exhibition will take place in Chicago during March and April, to coincide with American Mosaic Summit, SAMA’s yearly conference in the same city. (For conference information, visit www.americanmosaics.org.) The Smith Museum of Stained Glass at Navy Pier will host the show, and over 80,000 visitors are expected to attend during its run, March 1-April 30. 

Karen Ami, SAMA president and exhibition chair, notes that “MAI has become the most competitive mosaic arts exhibition in the U.S. This year’s show will inspire and excite those who are familiar with mosaic as well as those seeing contemporary mosaic art for the first time.” More than 250 artists in eight countries submitted entries, and a panel of three jurors deliberated over a five-day period, ultimately selecting 48 pieces for exhibition. Three categories of work are represented in the show: 26 mosaics in two-dimensional format, seven in three-dimensional format, and 15 in the architectural category. 

Michael J. Kruzich is a mosaicist who works in San Francisco, CA and annually participates in Hunter’s Point Shipyard’s Open Studios. Michael also will be having a show at “Sweet Inspiration”, 2239 Market St., SF, CA. 415.621.8664.

Michael’s website is http://mkmosaics.com and commissions are considered and welcome. The work selected for a Juror’s Choice award at the Mosaic Arts International (MAI) 2010 exhibit is named “Corinthian”. It is a 2-dimensional mosaic entirely in stone and is 20” x 27”. Inspired by the great architectural Corinthian column design it is rendered in a very textural relief yet classical in it’s technique.

Jurors for MAI 2010 included esteemed British mosaicist Oliver Budd, president of the British Association for Modern Mosaic (BAMM); Juan Chavez, a noted public artist and faculty member at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Janet Kozachek, an Orangeburg, South Carolina artist and arts educator and a founding member and president emeritus of SAMA.  Budd noted that he found the work to be of “consistently high quality” and was “really swayed by some of the fantastic abstract work.” Kozachek also praised the field and reflected on the agonizing yet uplifting process of sorting through “so many incredible pieces of art.”

The Society of American Mosaic Artists is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring, and promoting excellence in fine mosaic art. It is a vibrant and growing group with more than 1,200 members. SAMA is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and will stage the world’s largest mosaics education event at its conference March 17–21, 2010 at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago. For more information on membership and conference registration, please visit www.americanmosaics.org