Faculty & Visiting Artists


Karen Ami

MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA, The Boston Museum School, Independent study, Italy ( Scuolo Mosaici Orsoni, Venice), Ecuador, Costa Rica, Nevis, Mexico, and Ireland. Karen Ami is the Founder and Executive Director of CMS, President Emeritus- The Society of American Mosaic Artists and has curated numerous local and national arts exhibitions. Ms. Ami has exhibited in over 24 countries, and in 2013 exhibited in France, Italy, and Turkey.  She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and respect for mosaic art and continues to be an ambassador for the school and the art form.


Martha Crandall

BFA, Rhode Island School of Design. Director of Studio B, a Mosaic design company in Chicago. Ms Crandall has been included in many local gallery exhibitions and her work was included in “Beneath The Surface” National Juried Exhibition in 2006, in Chicago. She is one of the founding faculty.members of CMS, and her specialties include Glass on Glass and Community outreach projects.

Andryea Natkin

BFA, School of the Art Institute Chicago. Ms Natkin had been a painter for most of her career before delving into mosaics full time. Her work has been included in several prestigious juried exhibitions, as well as local shows and art publications. In addition to being a great addition to the CMS faculty, Ms Natkin is the founder and proprietor of Tiny Pieces Mosaic Supply at The Chicago Mosaic School.


Sue Coombs

Sue Coombs is one of the first students to complete the Certificate Program in Mosaic Arts at CMS. In addition to being included in many prestigious national and local exhibitions, Ms. Coombs work has been featured in several international arts publications. She was an artist in residence at the Gwyendolyn Brooks Middle School, 2010-2011, leading students to create a mosaic mural at the school. She is a great addition to our faculty.

Sue Giannotti

Sue Giannotti has been affiliated with CMS since the school opened in 2005. Sue is the Certification Director and is one of the most sought after mosaic arts instructors in the United States. She is the owner of MosaicOpus studio in St. Louis, Missouri. Sue’s work has been featured in several national and international art exhibitions, most recently in Ravenna, Italy at 3X6 during the RavennaMosaico Festival, 2015.


Ahmed Galal Ibrahim

Ahmed has a Bachelors degree in Mural Arts from Helwen University in Cairo, Egypt. He worked as part of the Sabry Mansour artist team designing and installing 4 large mosaic murals at the Ahram Canadian Univesity in Cairo, as well as a project in Helwan University on the Festivals building. Ahmed’s work has been exhibited nationally and overseas. He brings a great enthusiasm in his approach to classes at CMS and we are happy to have him as part of our faculty.

Casey Van Loon

Casey turned her attention to her great love of glass, color, form, and movement, after studying dance at Columbia College and performing professionally in Chicago for a number of years.  As  senior stained glass artist at Botti Studio of Architectural Arts for well over a decade, Casey has worked  on numerous historical and original projects including the restoration of the Tiffany domes at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Art Institute, the recreation of the glass dome at the Plaza Hotel in NYC, and the worlds largest exterior glass mosaic at Tousaint Village in San Diego, CA.  Her affiliation with the Chicago Mosaic school consistently renews her passion for mosaics and has fostered a new passion for teaching, inspired by a rich community of artists of all ages and abilities.

Larry Zgoda

Larry Zgoda has been affiliated with CMS since we opened our doors in 2005. Larry is well known for his original art in stained glass locally and nationally. “  For over thirty years, Zgoda has explored a collection of unique materials and original techniques with which he articulates his creative inclinations. We are fortunate to have Larry Zgoda teaching Stained Glass classes at CMS!



Oona D’ mello

Oona D’mello is the CMS Arts Administrative Director. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has been with CMS since 2014. She is an amazing presence at the school and is a great asset to our school organization. See her paintings and other artwork here at www.oonadmello.com

Cody Abbott

Randall Bultman

Rebecca Baruc

Rebecca is a graduate of Skidmore College with a Bachelor in American Studies and Studio Art. She has studied traditional and contemporary art practices at The Art Student’s League and The Glasgow School of Art, and has taken on-site art history courses in Rome, Florence, London, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Becca is a CMS Certification student and we are very happy to have her as a part of our team! For more information about Rebecca visit www.beccabaruc.com

Colin Thiel

Colin is a Chicago based artist, illustrator and designer. Originally from Minneapolis, Colin is graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has begun to study Mosaics at CMS. To see more of Colin’s work go to http://www.colinthiel.com

Visiting Artists

The Chicago Mosaic School has set the standard of excellence by bringing some of the best contemporary mosaic artists in the world to the school. These include Israeli artist Ilana Shafir, British artists Maggy Howarth, Gary Drostle and Martin Cheek, Australian artists Helen Bodycomb,Dominick Johns and Pamela Irving, Italian artists Verdiano Marzi, Carolina Zanelli, Enzo Aiello, Matteo Randi, Canadian Artist Sophie Drouin and nationally known artists Bill Buckingham, Shug Jones, Lynne Chinn, Sue Giannotti, Yulia Hannensen, Elizabeth Raybee, Sonia King, Lynn Moor, and Sherri Warner Hunter.

Verdiano Marzi

Verdiano Marzi became a master mosaicist after studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in his hometown of Ravenna, the cradle of Byzantine Paleochristian mosaics (4th – 5th century AD). Master Renato Signorini had a workshop in Ravenna, and Marzi soon joined as a young professional mosaic artist. On arriving in France in 1973, he enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris as a student of the mosaicist Riccardo Licata. He then joined forces with Licata and Giovanna Galli to found the Anaxagoras Group. Besides creating mosaics and showing them at his own exhibitions and with other artists, Verdiano Marzi is also a dedicated teacher. He worked for thirthy years at the municipal mosaic workshop of Bagnolet where he lives, and created a mosaic workshop at the Musée du Louvre in 1994 where he worked for twenty years. Marzi’s creative projects include large-scale public mosaics. His first solo exhibition was at the Venice Biennale in 1986 (he was there again at the San Marino Pavilion in 2011). The Arian Baptistery in Ravenna (Unesco Heritage) was a special venue for his mosaic portraits during RavennaMosaico 2013. The Retrospective 1965-2014 of his works took place at the Museum of the Accademy of Fine Arts in Saint-Petersburg, Russia


Carolina Zanelli

Born in Udine, Carolina earned her diploma in Master Mosaics
at the Mosaic School of Friuli in 1995. She has been a teacher of mosaic
at the school in Spilembergo for short courses for over six years. She currently alternates
teaching mosaic in the studio laboratory, but also in
state and private schools, centers for the disabled, prisons. She has created
mosaics in Palestine (Bethlehem International Centre), the Netherlands (Savantis)
California (California College of the Arts, Oakland), Chicago, South Africa (Spier
Academy), Kenya (Nairobi), France (Grasse).

Toyoharu Kii

Toyoharu Kii graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1977 and finished the Master’s program of the same university in 1980. He continued his studies in Florence, Italy, with a grant from the Italian government. In 1982, Kii returned to Japan and opened Mosaic Atelier ING, through which he has realized over fifty mural mosaics. He is currently a part-time lecturer at Joshibi University of Art and Design and Musashino Art University. His work has been featured in exhibitions worldwide, most recently in exhibitions in the US, Ravenna, Italy, and Turkey.

Dugald MacInnes

We are very proud that Scottish artist Dugald MacInnes is a Visiting Artist and mentor to The Chicago Mosaic School. MacInnes has a diploma from the Glasgow School of Art and a degree in geology from The Open University.  MacIness has also studied field archaeology at The University of Glasgow. He is currently directing a major field survey in Scotland and is editor/co-editor of twenty-eight archaeological papers. His artwork has been exhibited in the United States, England, France, and Italy and has gained awards both domestically and internationally. This year he is a guest speaker and exhibitor at the international mosaic conferences (AIMC) Vienna, and in Chartres, France, as well as an invited tutor and visiting artist at The Chicago Mosaic School. Recent exhibitions include Tesserae 2014, Udine, Italy, Ravenna, and simultaneous exhibitions at Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Dugald MacInnes will be returning to CMS in 2015 for a series of workshops and lectures.

Gary Drostle

Gary was born in Woolwich in South East London and studied fine art at Camberwell, St Martins and Middlesex Polytechnic. He also studied in Italy at the Cararra School of Marble Sculpture. He is the proprietor of Drostle Mosaics in UK, and presently serving as President of the British Association of Modern Mosaics. His award winning mosaics can be seen around Britain as well as the United States. His “Feather” mural was part of a CMS Workshop in 2007 and is permanently installed at the Drummond Public School here in Chicago. (2008)


Elder G. Jones

Elder G. Jones is an award-winning artist who carves cement into sculpture, fountains, and public art projects. This Tennessee native, with an education in biology, art and healing, is the nation’s foremost expert in cement carving with over 20 years experience. His work has received national attention on HGTV, Southern Living Magazine, San Francisco Examiner and in two books by Sherri Warner Hunter. He is represented in many fine art galleries including La Mesa Gallery on prestigious Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Matteo Randi

Matteo Randi was born in Ravenna, Italy and began his formal training in mosaic art there at the age of 11. He continued his training at theIstituto d’Arte Gino Severini, then at the National School for the Conservation of Mosaics, both in Ravenna. Mr. Randi creates original mosaic art that continues to win awards in major art exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, and has recently exhibited his work in Chartres, France and in Ravenna at the RavennaMosaico festival. In 2011,

Allesandro Lugari

Professor Alessandro Lugari is one of Italy’s leading experts on parietal mosaics. He has taken part in restoration projects all over the world, spanning from North Africa to Latin America. Professor Lugari  has worked alongside some of the greatest experts in the field and is a renowned Italian mosaicist and curator. Lugari serves as the Superintendent for the Archaeological Heritage in Rome.  In teaching mosaics, Lugari says,  “the greatest satisfaction for any young person involved in this kind of work is to able to see and even touch the product of their own hard work, without overlooking the amount of knowledge and effort behind it all”. This very same knowledge coupled with the in-depth analysis of the historical context in the mosaics were born is what Allesandro Lugari will bring to CMS when he teaches ” History and Reproduction: Classical Practices” with Matteo Randi Fall 2014.

Visiting Artists Archive

Giulio Menossi

Giuilio Menossi is an award winning artist from Udine, Italy.At 18 he moved to Milan, where he started to learn the technique of Venetian mosaics.  For 3 years, he studied under his master, Domenico Coleldani. In 1976, Menossi decided to come back to Udine and open his personal laboratory. Three years later he moved to the United States to follow his passion for mosaic art and worked for the prestigious Crovatto Mosaic in New York.  Upon his return to Udine he continued to improve his skill and techniques until, after 35 years of work, he became known for the high quality of his technique and design. Over the years Menossi’s works have been seen worldwide, most recently in Gazientep ,Turkey where he won the 2013 International Mosaic Arts Competition.

Maggy Howarth

Maggy Howarth has been the tour de force in developing and perfecting the ancient art of hand-made pebble mosaic paving, combining it with modern techniques and imaginative contemporary design. From her studio in Lancastershire, England, Ms. Howarth creates outstanding installations and has written several books on Pebble Mosaic. Ms. Howarth has taught her expert techniques to students outside of the UK only twice, both times here at The Chicago Mosaic School, and we are honored to have her. (2007, 2009)


Sherri Warner Hunter

Sherri Warner Hunter has exhibited her award winning artwork across the country.Hunter is an active board member and president of the Community Built Association (CBA), a national organization of professional designers, architects, and artists who work with communities to design and develop volunteer based projects.She has also written two books on working with concrete; “Creating Concrete Ornaments for the Garden” and “Making Concrete Garden Ornaments”. The books were developed from expertise honed through decades of teaching. Hunter continues to teach workshops at her studio in Bell Buckle and at The Chicago Mosaic School. (2008, 2009, 2010)


Shug Jones

Shug Jones is one of the founders of Tesserae Mosaic Studio in Plano, Texas. Her work continues to be featured in national exhibitions and her public installations has won many awards and accolaides. Ms. Jones serves on the board of the Society of American Mosaic Artists and has contributed much to the development of education in mosaic arts and is a supporter of The Chicago Mosaic School. (2007,2008, 2009)


Ilana Shafir

Ilana Shafir is a renowned Israeli artist who’s work has been exhibited worldwide.Ilana is an active participant in the growing community of mosaic artists throughout the world and often invited as a guest speaker in national and international mosaic conferences. She is a member of AIMC (International Association of Modern Mosaic Artist, Ravenna, Italy) and a member of SAMA (Society of American Mosaic Artists). (2006, 2007)

Yulia Hanansen

Yulia is an award winning artist and and owner of Mosaicsphere Studio in Baltimore, Maryland. Her work has been exhibited nationally and she she is known for working both traditionally and experimentally in mosaics. Yulia shares CMS’ passion to build public awareness about the quality of mosaics, and to exhibit the superb qualities of mosaic techniques. (2008,2010)


SOAMA Tiny Pieces Mosaic Supply