Wednesday, May 14, 2014

SAMA Mosaic Summit, Houston

I recently returned from SAMA's annual mosaic summit in Houston, TX where I spent four days attending presentations, dropping in workshops to see what friends were teaching and creating, selling my book at the vendor marketplace, and making new friends!

The first day I hadn't signed up for any workshops, but I was very curious as to what others were doing, so with the permission of the instructors, I popped into several classes to check out what they were up to.  I visited the classes of Carol Shelkin, Laurie Mika, and Marian Shapiro, all wonderfully creative artists and teachers who I highly recommend.

Brownian Bee Press booth
On the second day, the vendor marketplace opened where I sold my book with Barb Keith and her two books in a shared booth.  Barb was also promoting her new book, I Love You to Pieces, which will be available this summer. You can find her books at Brownian Bee Press.  It was so great to meet so many new people this way and to share our love of children's books and mosaic art. 

Marian Shapiro and I at the salon
Photo by Carol Shelkin
That night was the Mosaic Art Salon where attendees display and sell their art.  I created a small piece, 8x9" called "Dreaming," made with Mexican smalti and glass fusions, that sold and is now residing in Mexico City.

Friends at MAI
Photo by Carol Shelkin
Flair Robinson and her MAI piece
Photo by Carol Shelkin

The third day was more marketplace, the start of presentations, and the opening for Mosaic Arts International (MAI), a juried exhibition of member artwork.  Always a good time to hang with friends and ooh and ahh over mosaic art!

The final day of the conference started with some flooding in the vendor marketplace (still not sure how that happened, a broken water valve, I think).  Some booths had to be moved and the marketplace was closed for about 45 minutes so all booths lost some sales.  Our booth was at the back of the market so the water did not reach us. 

More presentations followed, then a raffle and a nice dinner with Carol.  She left early and I finished my dinner alone, the first moment I had to myself in four days.  It was rather nice!  The closing party was next, but I didn't go - utterly exhausted!  I went back to my hotel room to pack and relax and flew home the next morning.

Croutons this big are only in Texas!
Photo by Carol Shelkin

Next year, Philadelphia!  A city I've never been to before and am looking forward to getting to know.  My buddy Carol is on the committee so you know it's going to be good!!  See you there.  :)