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The Institute of Mosaic Art

A Comprehensive Mosaic School And Center, Opens In California's Bay Area

On September 24th, 2005 the Institute of Mosaic Art (IMA) officially opened its doors in Oakland, California. The festive grand opening was the culminating event of founder Laurel True's fifteen years as a maker and teacher of mosaic art. It represented the beginning of a new chapter in Laurel's career and the start of an exciting episode in the increasingly vibrant field of American mosaics.

True's ambition has  always been to expand, promote and make mosaics available to a wider audience. With her public and private art commissions business thriving by the mid 1990's, Laurel began teaching through True Mosaics Studios. She quickly developed a local following, and soon students were traveling from around the county to attend her classes. True Mosaics Studio expanded rapidly, offering a more diverse and intensive course schedule. 

It was  clear, however, that the demand for mosaic instruction and information was greater than True could provide by herself. In order to fulfill the students' need for additional classes and to satisfy their interest in a wide variety of mosaic styles and techniques, she  needed more space, greater resources and -- most importantly -- a dedicated group of experienced mosaic instructors.

After a year of careful planning and months of hard work, Institute of Mosaic Art (IMA) is able to offer more courses for students at all levels, from total beginners to professionals. Courses range from Mosaics 101 to Architectural Applications to the Business of Mosaics.  Housed in a newly renovated building in the "Jingletown" Arts District of Oakland, California, IMA has three classrooms, an outdoor sculpture court, a regular faculty and a host of visiting artists, special workshops and unique lecture and slide presentations.

There is much more at IMA, including a resource library which brings together mosaic literature, reference and inspirational materials dating back to the 1950's and Mosaic Studio Supply, a one-stop resource for mosaic tools and materials. Over the course of 2006, IMA's Visiting Artist Series will host such renowned mosaicists as Sonia King, Ellen Blakeley, Dimitry Grudsky, Irina Charny and Carolina Zanelli of Spilimbergo, Italy and many more.

IMA is a unique center for mosaics in North America. On that day last September, Laurel True's  dream of  opening a mosaic center came to fruition. The Institute of Mosaic Art is more than just a place to take workshops or buy supplies:  it is a community for people who share a love for mosaic art, a gathering place that will promote and  expand the art of mosaics for years to come.

John Neff
PR and Community Outreach Coordinator. IMA


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