The Never Ending “Mosaic” Term Debate

Okay I’m just going to say this so there is documentation of how I truly feel about this.

Honestly…I just laugh when I see someone try to define “mosaic” as this very narrow (and purpously exclusive) and point blank incorrect definition of mosaic consisting of only being one type of material.

But what I really don’t care for is when this never ending weird debate thing comes up demeaning and belittling it is to the history of mosaics itself created around the world for centuries in many different cultures and to artists who created them using countless different materials and are still creating them now ever broadening this art form with what materials can and are being used today. It is belittling to the fact that the art form of mosaic is not owned by one culture or one group of people. Many different cultures in many different places were creating mosaics for centuries. It is flat out ignoring the earliest forms of mosaic using stone..shells.. These weren’t mosaics and didn’t exist as such? It all began with glass?? Wut. That is just factually wrong.
And for what purpose? Why? To make it exclusive? To force one definition on others? To somehow own the term of “mosaic”? What is the purpose of this beyond just being petty and dismissive of all other artists creating mosaics around the world? It’s okay to be proud of your style of mosaic from your place. But to say you own the definition and it can only be one thing…and it can never evolve or broaden with what it includes over time like many definitions do is just..well “it’s just your opinion, man.”

And it’s being taught. That’s the the disappointing kicker about this. I can’t count the number of times I had a student tell me “true mosaic” is only using one very specific type of material. I can’t count the number of times over the years someone told another artist to their face that their art form of mosaic that they loved and cherished and breathed in every day was not a “true mosaic”. Their heart and soul work using the art form they cherish and naturally gravitated to ..dismissed so insensitively because someone in another place simply said so. That’s not okay.
It’s wrong. And this is why I won’t ever be sitting at the “cool kid” table.
I don’t have a narrow definition of what mosaic is because I can’t pretend it is narrow. I just can’t. It isn’t to me with the proof and information I have.

Prove me wrong. I am not so stubborn in my ways or thinking to change my mind about this. But from what I have learned and still am learning…mosaic is not specific to only one type of materials. And you have every right to teach your “opinion” of what your definition of mosaic is. You have free will. But I don’t agree with this idea that it be taught as “Bible” because it is not and to teach that is a disservice to students learning about this art form as well a negative domino effect I have personally witnessed that tells other artists what they express and create is somehow less than and not legit. For what purpose? What purpose is there in this? Can anyone EVER explain this to me??
Why can’t the term of “mosaic” be inclusive of many materials used over exclusive to just one? Why? Who is being hurt by expanding the definition and allowing it to simply evolve over time? Terms evolve all the time. I just don’t get the never ending debate in the mosaic community. It has very much been the reason why I make an active choice to not play along with silly games..not be part of “clubs” who don’t really recognize my art as “true mosaic” and do my thing on my own.
I’ve had real moments when I thought well shit maybe I’m not a “mosaic” artist. Maybe I’m just an artist who uses the art form of mosaic. 🥴 That’s how much a head trip this whole debate is to some of us.

And these are the moments when I knock myself on the head and remind myself that it just does not matter. I love all kinds of mosaic art using all kinds of materials and I could care less what a few will define that as. I really don’t care. I am an artist first. A mosaic artist second. And there are always going to be people trying to define me and define what I do incorrectly. As an autistic human…this is what I call…a Tuesday. Just another day and another way for another human to try and define who they think someone is and what they think they are about. I just won’t be an active participant in this pointless game. I create mosaic art. Be mad about that or don’t. NO regrets! 🤗


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