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Mosaic Mania


Artists in Schools

Mosaic Mania

Dispatches from CMA Resident Artist Maria D. Rapicavoli's after school class at Hudson Guild.

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Mosaics were the name of the game in CMA Resident Maria D. Rapicavoli’s after school art class at Hudson Guild.

The multi-step project kicked off with an introduction to historical significance of mosaics in art, from ancient Roman mosaics at Monreale Cathedral in Sicily (Maria’s hometown!) to Sam Gilliam’s From a Model to a Rainbow installation in Washington, D.C. 

Roman mosaics at Monreale Cathedral in Sicily, Italy. Photo courtesy of Per-Erik Skramstad ©

From a Model to a Rainbow (2011) ceramic and glass tile mosaic by Sam Gilliam at the Takoma Metro Station in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the transit authority’s Metro Art in Transit Program. Photo courtesy of Art Around.

Students began by drawing geometric shapes or figures on white paper, then filled in their shapes with colored tiles and glue.

Second and third graders were especially transfixed by the small bits of colored glass. For them, it was a precious material to be treated with great care!

The final step in the project will take place in the new year, when students will affix their work to cardboard and experiment with the process of grouting tiles.

Maria's work at Hudson Guild is supported by the Emergency Arts Education Fund, which provides free arts education to NYC school communities whose art programs have been decimated by recent budget cuts.

Children’s Museum of the Arts’ three Residents Artists are currently implementing ambitious arts curriculum at each of our partner sites throughout New York City: Hudson Guild in Chelsea, Sid Miller Academy in Crown Heights, and Children’s Workshop School in the East Village. Come spring, our residents will showcase their students' work through exhibitions and installations across the city. Learn how you can support the work of our residents here.


Noormah Jamal at Children's Workshop School

Directional Coloring

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