Art Goes to Pieces - Page 6

Countless tiny shards speak a language of their own as a new mosaic resurgence takes hold

King believes quality keeps improving as the world grows smaller.

The international nature of the art can be gauged by the six mosaic artists King mentions, reluctantly, when asked for her favorites: Marco de Luca and Felice Nittolo from Italy, Ilana Shafir from Israel, Toyoharu Kii from Japan, Emma Biggs from England, and Jo Braun from Seattle.

“For me,” King says of these mosaicists, “I want to feel a connection with the passion of the artist. It hits me in a visceral way.”


Photos: David Toerge, Espartaco Palma, Ernie Braun, Expert Imaging, Scott Williams, Dave Weinstein; and courtesy Sonia King, Lillian Sizemore, Holy Names University, Renee Adelmann (Marin Modern Real Estate)


Story Resources

Lillian Sizemore

Sonia King
(King’s book, Mosaic: Techniques and Traditions, is an excellent introduction to the art)

Institute of Mosaic Art

Society of American Mosaic Arts



Mosaics to Enjoy

  • A Guide to Mosaic Sites: San Francisco is a useful, illustrated booklet by Lillian Sizemore, available from the artist:
  • Emile Norman’s ‘endomosaic’ window can be viewed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California Street, San Francisco.
  • One of San Francisco’s favorite mosaic murals, ‘World Sources of Food’ by John Garth, can be admired on the exterior of the Marina Safeway, 15 Marina Boulevard.
  • A mosaic mural celebrating the cultures of the Pacific Basin by Millard Sheets and Sue Hertel decorates a bank at 98 West Portal Avenue, San Francisco.
  • Anthony Stellon’s ‘Brotherhood of Man,’ for which Lillian Sizemore has spearheaded a proposal for a deserving restoration, can be seen at San Francisco’s Franklin Square, 16th and Bryant streets, in the Mission district.
  • Artist Louis Macouillard and Alfonso Pardiñas tell the story of A.P. Giannini and the Bank of America on a 1963 bank at 300 South El Camino Real, San Mateo.
  • Mary Henry, a leading painter and designer of the 1950s, created a lovely abstract mosaic on the Bank of the West, 1010 South First Street, San Jose.
  • Also on a San Jose Bank of the West (3888 Stevens Creek Boulevard) artist Harry Powers created the abstract mural ‘Vibrant Galaxy’ in 1963.
  • Oakland’s Holy Names University has a wonderful mosaic, the ‘Sophia Mural,’ by Louisa Jenkins, a prominent mid-century Northern California mosaic artist, on the east side of Brennan Hall. 3500 Mountain Boulevard, Oakland. (Tell the gatekeeper you’re there to view the mural.)
  • The Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s building, covered with a mosaic mural by Wayne Thiebaud, is at 6201 S Street.
  • In Los Angeles, Joseph L. Young’s sculpture ‘Triforium’ can be seen across from City Hall, at Temple and Main streets. His mural ‘Topographical Map of Los Angeles’ can be viewed at the County Hall of Records, 320 Temple Street.
  • In the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, a nice Evelyn Ackerman mosaic mural adorns an apartment house at 11957 Kiowa Avenue (near Bundy Drive).
  • The 1938 ‘Long Beach Mosaic’ is currently displayed on the outside of the Long Beach Plaza garage, 205 East Third Street.
  • Don’t look for Anshen and Allen’s Villa Roma Motor Hotel. It was demolished in the early 1980s. A few years later, the Varda-Pardiñas mural was moved from that site to Sausalito’s Marinship Park (off Marinship Way, near the Bay Model), where it stands today.