I was recently invited by Redfin realty to contribute to their blog article on choosing art that "won't cost your security deposit", while being contemporary and exciting. Here is the tip that I contributed, and a link to the full blog post on Redfin's website. Enjoy, and feel free to pass it along to your friends who might benefit from the information in this post!
Mosaic art designed for moving
The world of fine-art mosaics contains beautiful artwork that is rhythmic, colorful, textural, reflective, sturdy, and unique. Although traditional mosaics were created directly on walls and floors, and thus are heavy inappropriate for apartment dwellers, many mosaic artists now focus on reasonably light, self-contained display art pieces similar to paintings, as well as lightweight free-standing display items, occasional tables, and functional pieces such as dining-table centerpieces. Whatever mosaic art you choose for your apartment, you can easily take it with you if you choose to move.
Lydia Maria Child was an abolitionist, women's rights activist, novelist, journalist, and Massachusetts resident, who--unlike most women at the time--was famous in her own right in the 1800s. Born Lydia Francis in 1802 in Medford, Massachusetts, she lived there until about age 11, and is supposed to have visited her "Grandfather's House" in the same town. You might know the holiday song "Over the River and Through the Woods" [to Grandfather's House We Go]. Well, the lyrics of that song are taken from a poem that Child wrote in 1844 called "The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day," and "Grandfather's House" is thought to be THIS house (although that's not been proven for absolute sure). The house overlooks the Mystic River--the same river as in the song. The woods, alas, are no more.
A few years ago Medford reconfigured an intersection a few houses from Grandfather's House, in an effort to slow down traffic turning onto the street. The new corner now features a garden planted with native grasses and wildflowers. Since the garden is so close to the house of Maria Child's grandparents, it was named in her honor. She was a woman far ahead of her time: strong, confident, articulate, famous, and published under her own name. You can read more about Maria Child on the Medford Historical Society website.
I wanted to create a mosaic piece for the garden to honor Lydia Maria Child. I incorporated a portrait of her as a young woman, a few identifying words, and a graphic based on her own watercolors. Yes, Child was also an accomplished artist, as were most women of her time. The flowers I used as a model appeared in Flowers for Children (1844-1846), which she both wrote and illustrated. The concrete "book" references the many many books that Child wrote during her prolific professional career.
Susan Altman: Mosaicist, Community Artist, Writer/Editor