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.
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.”