International mosaic art show on display in WB
By Mike Koury
Posted May 17, 2017
WEST BLOOMFIELD — Kelly Kaatz, gallery director at the Janice Charach Gallery, wants you to see mosaic art in a way you probably haven’t before.
Thirty-four artists are currently featured in the Mosaic Arts International Exhibition, running May 4-June 15 at the Janice Charach Gallery in West Bloomfield, 6600 W. Maple Road.
The show features mosaic artists from all over the world and was timed to coincide with the American Mosaic Summit in metro Detroit May 2-6.
Kaatz said the yearly exhibition is hosted in a different city annually, and this year marks its first year in metro Detroit.
“Now that Detroit is kind of revitalizing, they wanted to come here, which is great,” she said.
The exhibition encompasses the juried exhibition with 34 artists, plus the Mosaic Arts International Invitational, featuring Verdiano Marzi. Marzi, who lives in Paris, gave a presentation on mosaic art and his work May 7 at the show’s debut.
“He is known as the mosaic maestro,” Kaatz said, adding that he is well-known in the world. “This is his first time exhibiting in Michigan. The only other time he exhibited in the Midwest was in Chicago.”
Kaatz described the overall show as “breathtaking” in how involved and unique the mosaic pieces are, hailing from Australia, Japan, Canada and the United States.
“They (are like) some of the best pieces in the world as far as mosaic goes,” she said. “You don’t see a lot of mosaics in galleries, and when you do, it is kind of more of the same.
“It will be very hard to view anywhere else,” she said of the art. “I’ve never seen a mosaic show of this caliber.”
A longtime Huntington Woods resident is being featured in the show. Joan Schwartz, a 41-year resident of Huntington Woods, will be one of the 34 artists featured. Schwartz, who’s been working with mosaic art for 13 years, crafted a mosaic chicken for the event, saying that it was just a crazy idea she had and she is not sure how she came up with it.
“I had to do something kind of outlandish,” she said. That led to her crafting the mosaic chicken, which took her approximately 100 hours to complete.
“I just wanted to do something different,” she said. “Many people just work on wall art, and I like three-dimensional things. I want to have my own unique style. That’s hard to do when there’s so many talented people out there doing beautiful things.”
The Janice Charach Gallery is hosting the show for the Society of American Mosaic Artists.
Kaatz said that the gallery usually hosts its own shows, but that it’s rare for it to host someone else’s exhibition.
“It’s a real treat for us, because we also usually only host local artists, where this is an international show,” she said. “We don’t do a lot of international shows. We don’t do a lot of shows outside of the Midwest, so it is a real treat for us to have these artworks in the gallery. We’ve never had a mosaic show like this. This stuff is really incredible.”
As she walked through the gallery, getting it ready before its opening reception May 4, Kaatz noted the wide range of art featured in the show, from realistic to abstract works. “But this is my first time being involved with mosaic of such a high caliber as this,” she said. “It’s kind of mind-blowing to see the pieces. Some of the pieces, you’ll stand far away and it just looks like this realistic dog, and then you get up close and it’s just little pieces of glass and everything’s just meticulously arranged.”
Kaatz said that sometimes when people think of mosaic, they think of tile put everywhere in a crafty way, but she stressed that this is “real, true fine art.”
“If you appreciate art at all, or even just decorative, meticulously designed things, I think you’ll appreciate this,” she said. “Anybody who appreciates sculptures or painting or abstract or realism, I think it just really suits anybody who appreciates fine art.”
Schwartz said it’s an honor for her to be in this show with many other talented mosaicists from all over the world, and she is excited for people to see her work and the work of the other artists.
“Who doesn’t like to hear the accolades for your work?” she said.
Staff Writer Sherri Kolade contributed to this report.
About the author
Staff Writer Mike Koury covers Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge along with the Berkely Schools and Ferndale Schools districts for the Woodward Talk. He has worked at C & G Newspapers since October 2015 and attended Michigan State University. He has been described as “a wonderful angel” by his mother and “sleepy” by his editor.
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