Mosaic Artist Michelle Sider has a way of capturing not only the look but also the feelings tied to some of universally loved destinations. Whether it comes from her deep Michigan roots, her extensive experience as an artist, or both, Sider’s lush, detailed mosaics proved to be a perfect fit for the 2021 New England Mosaic Society’s recent exhibit, Take Me Away. View more
She earned both a Best in Show award for her work, “Evocative Sunset” and a Judge’s Choice honor for “Sunset
Mosaic Artist Michelle Sider has a way of capturing not only the look but also the feelings tied to some of universally loved destinations. Whether it comes from her deep Michigan roots, her extensive experience as an artist, or both, Sider’s lush, detailed mosaics proved to be a perfect fit for the 2021 New England Mosaic Society’s recent exhibit, Take Me Away.
She earned both a Best in Show award for her work, “Evocative Sunset” and a Judge’s Choice honor for “Sunset Sailboat.” These two mosaics were among 45 pieces chosen and represented for this exhibit.
The New England Mosaic Society was inspired to create Take Me Away as its first themed exhibition to capture the collective need to travel and to escape feelings of isolation amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Entries for Take Me Away were submitted between February. And May 1 and the show opened with a virtual reception June 3.
A lifelong artist, Sider has focused in on mosaic for the past 5 years. “Evocative Sunset” marks her very first Best in Show win in this medium.
“I was thrilled and so grateful to have received my first Best in Show award,” said Sider. “To be awarded Best in Show among a group of mosaic artists that I admire – and especially being judged by such renowned judges – was an incredible honor and is very humbling.”
Subtitled “Lake Michigan view of Manitou,” this work explores a shoreline that has long been a source of inspiration to Sider.
“This glass mosaic is a study in reflections and atmospheric effects,” she added. “The mosaic changes color as light fluctuates throughout the day and dances upon the water and the sky.”
All the pieces featured in this exhibit were chosen because they were inspired by places the artists’ look forward to visiting once the pandemic is behind us. For Sider, it was an easy choice to show her love of Michigan’s Great Lakes, lake culture and coastline in the two mosaics she entered.
“Each of these pieces in their own way shows very dramatic lighting during a sunset and have wonderful colors reflected in the water,” she said. “In addition, these pieces capture an uplifting and beautiful moment in time.”
“Sunset Sailboat” was designated as the Judge’s Choice winner by esteemed judge Yulia Hanansen, an internationally-known artist, educator and founder of Mosaic Sphere Studio.
”‘Sailboat Sunset’ has it all – a Take Me Away theme, an exciting color scheme, and a beautiful composition that draws you in,” said Hanansen. “I loved the selection of colors and how well the water transitioned into the sky. The pieces of smalti are forming a brave andamento that creates a sense of whimsy and playfulness. I also loved the fact that an artwork like this can only be produced in a mosaic technique, it has so much texture and color in it that would be hard to reproduce in a different media.”
‘Sailboat Sunset’ was created as part of Sider’s Reflections Series.
“This award was a particular honor for me as I greatly admire Yulia Hanansen’s work and had taken a workshop with her during the Society of American Mosaic Artists Conference in 2019,” noted Sider. “I hope to transport viewers of this piece to a place near the water’s edge, so they may enjoy a moment in time where they feel inspired, stirred and uplifted.”
Sider also mentioned that due to the pandemic, Take Me Away was presented as a virtual exhibition. This allowed artists to provide digital replicas of their work, providing the rare opportunity to choose pieces that might not otherwise have been available to show in person.
For example, “Sunset Sailboat” had already been purchased by a repeat collector in Florida. Had the exhibition been held in a traditional manner, this winning piece would not have been able to be included. The virtual format allows participating artists the flexibility to choose among a wider array of their work, and viewers have the chance to experience it from anywhere.
“Evocative Sunset: Lake Michigan View toward Manitou” is currently on display and available for sale at Leland Michigan’s Main Street Gallery. Though, this Best in Show winner is poised to sell quickly.