CMS Student Angela Sanders tells us about her “Modern Expressions” Workshop with Verdiano Marzi
March 5, 2019
I learned about the Chicago Mosaic School and its reputation when I attended my first SAMA conference in San Diego. When looking at the CMS website I noticed a visiting artist class with Verdiano Marzi. I was incredibly impressed
with Verdiano’s work and the CMS curriculum and immediately applied for acceptance into his class. It was a fantastic workshop that reset the trajectory for my art from painting to mosaics and I have been grateful ever since.
I knew the reputation of CMS, and appreciated that they brought in highly credentialed teachers. At the time, I was primarily a painter, and really wanted to understand how I could translate ideas I had for my paintings into the mosaic medium. All I needed to do was look at Verdiano’s artwork, which is a sensual aesthetic experience. It told me that he was a master- highly creative, sensitive, and knowledgeable. I felt that if he would be willing to share that experience with me, it would represent the opportunity of a lifetime. After finishing my first week with Verdiano, I begged CMS to let me stay for the next workshop with him. I was hooked… and have been lucky enough to work with him every year since.
The difference between taking classes at CMS versus other facilities is vast. At CMS I have learned in depth about the many materials in the vocabulary of mosaic art, how to select, cut and use them and how to experiment with new approaches. Add to that the learning and understanding of the historical context of mosaics and its challenges as a contemporary art form…all taught by some of the world’s most accomplished and inspiring mosaic artists like Verdiano. The school provides everything you could need to complete whatever art piece you might want to work on. I have never taken a class anywhere else where you are provided, at no charge, with smalti, dal de verre, copper, stained glass, marble, shells, etc. It is all there to help you create the piece of your vision.
The vast majority of my artwork is now mosaic, and I guess you could say I have become obsessed with contemporary mosaic art. I have always been driven to work every day, and when I become too serious, I try to picture myself sitting next to Verdiano while he is working on his own pieces. He works happily, late into the night…singing and dancing as if he had been given the greatest gift possible. He gave me the same gift of loving this art form, along with a sense of purpose, self-acceptance, and excitement about future possibilities. It is safe to say that Verdiano changed my art practice and I can never thank him enough.
“Roiling” by Angela Sanders
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