BARBARA’S BOOK

Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith" book cover with photo of author Barbara Falconer Newhall

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

Institute of Mosaic Art — A Berkeley Spin on an Ancient Art

A lavendar mosaic bundt cake on a table alongside a plate of cookies at the Institute of Mosaic Art, Berkeley, CA.  Photo by BF Newhall

The bundt cake is inedible — it’s a mosaic. The cookies, on the other hand, seem to be the real thing. At the Institute of Mosaic Art, Berkeley. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The Institute of Mosaic Art left its creative mark on facades all over Oakland’s Jingletown neighborhood before moving last year to Berkeley, where its owners hope the studio and its artists will get more public exposure.

A three-dimensionalgreenish mosaic, "Gazing Cocoon,." by Wilma Wyss on display at the Institute of Mosaic Art, Berkeley, represents a cocoon with eyeballs looking out. Photo by BF Newhall

“Gazing Cocoon,” by Wilma Wyss. Photo by BF Newhall

Mosaic artist Laurel True founded the Institute of Mosaic Art in 2005  in a sprawling industrial building in Jingletown, an historic neighborhood located near the Oakland Estuary between the Park Street and Fruitvale bridges. When True moved to New Orleans a few years ago, the institute changed hands. It’s now owned by the mother-daughter team Ilse Cordoni and Sophia Cordoni, who foster the milleniums-old craft at their studio on Allston Way.

It won’t be as easy for IMA to leave its mark on the walls of its new neighborhood, Ilse Cordoni told me during a recent visit to the studio; in Berkeley there will be more bureaucratic hoops to jump through.

Still, there was plenty to see inside the studio — mosaic lemons, mosaic limes, a mosaic bird, and a mosaic bundt cake alongside what seemed to be a plate of actual cookies. Aside from the cookies, much of the handiwork on display was for sale. The public is invited to stop by IMA and take a look.

More about the arts and crafts of San Francisco’s East Bay at “Amazing Places — A Walk Around Oakland’s Jingletown”  and  “Amazing Clay”  and “Oakland’s Jingletown — Arts, Crafts and Cool Kitsch.”

Cluttered courtyard of Jingletown Art Studios, Oakland, CA. Mosaic mural by Philadelphia artist Isaiah Zagar. Photo by BF Newhall

Courtyard of the former IMA site, now Jingletown Art Studios. Mosaic mural by Philadelphia artist Isaiah Zagar. Clutter compliments of JAS artists. Photo by BF Newhall

The workroom of the Iinstitute of Mosaic Art, Berkeley, CA, with open garage door and mosaic by Laurel True's 2013 summer mural class. Photo by BF Newhall

The workroom of the Institute of Mosaic Art’s new Berkeley studio, with open garage door and mosaic by Laurel True’s 2013 summer mural class. Photo by BF Newhall

"Holy Cow" a mosaic with ceramic tiles and cow & angel figurines by Marcy Schaff, $155, at the Institute of Mosaic Art. Photo by BF Newhall  http://BarbaraFalconerNewhall,com

“Holy Cow” by Marcy Schaff, $155, embodies the whimsy I enjoy in so many Berkeley artists. Photo by BF Newhall

a small mosaic with red bird and green background at Institute of Mosaic Art. Photo by BF Newhall

I couldn’t find a signature or price on this elegant bird mosaic — a work in progress? Photo by BF Newhall

Four 3-dimensional mosaics of slices of citrus fruit hang on wall. "Lemon Lime Orange Lime" by Kim Larson, $200 each at the institute of mosaic art, berkeley. Photo by BF Newhall

Kim Larson, $200 each.

Green and white mosaic, "Elipse," by Jill Stevenson Ritter, 2013. Institute of Mosaic Art, berkeley. Photo by BF Newhall.

“Elipse” by Jill Stevenson Ritter, 2013. Photos by BF Newhall

A building in Jingletown district of Oakland, CA, is covered with pastel tesserae mosaics of animals and people. Photo by BF Newhall

A building in the Jingletown district of Oakland, CA, is covered with pastel tesserae and mirrors depicting animals and people. it’s by Isaiah Zagar. Photo by BF Newhall

detail of pastel mosaic on facade of a building in Jingletown, Oakland, CA, showing body of dog wrapped around corner of building. Photo by BF Newhall

Detail of Zagar’s mosaic facade. Photo by BF Newhall

Allston Way entrance to the Institute of Mosaic art with yellow and shingled facade and purple garage door. Photo by BF Newhall

Allston Way entrance to the Institute of Mosaic Art. Photo by BF Newhall

 

Share

Comments

  1. Would love to see these in person, but your photographs are the next best thing.

  2. Thanks for including me in this post, Barbara!

  3. Barbara Falconer Newhall says:

    Kim Larson sends along this link to the Tree of Life mosaic that the congregation at the Unitarian Universalist Chruch of Berkeley created in 2011 out of bits and pieces of their lives — eyeglasses, a piece of a broken bowl, an earring whose mate had gone lost. Check it out: http://kimlarsonart.blogspot.com/search?q=tree+of+life

Trackbacks

  1. The Institute of Mosaic Art: Where Berkeley Riffs on an Ancient Art | Social Dashboard says:

    […] owned by the mother-daughter team Ilse Cordoni and Sophia Cordoni, who foster the milleniums-old mosaic craft at their studio on Allston Way.It won't be as easy for IMA to leave its mark on the walls of its […]

Leave a Comment

*