This month I had the opportunity to meet with mosaic artist Tammi Lynch-Forrest in her Grand Ave. studio/gallery and discuss her journey to this point and her goals for the future. Upon entering the space I knew this was not a “typical” gallery, or artist. Tammi has found her passion in mosaic. She has poured not only her time and a significant investment into honing her skill, but from inspecting the work itself she has ingrained it with her essence.
Like many, I have not experienced much mosaic art, a fact that Tammi hopes to change with her presence in Phoenix. I was immediately drawn to the intricacy of the work, perfectly cut shards of a plethora of materials ranging from glass and stone to precious metals—gold and lapis-lazuli—arranged into detailed scenes and forms. She showed me some of the tools she uses to cut and shape the facets, and the planning that she goes through for each work. This is not an art form for the impatient, it takes time, dedication, and skills learned through mistakes, trial, and error. She explained how even some of the smallest works could consume weeks of labor.
The superb quality of the work she displays, many of which she created as tests or in workshops, is astonishing. Then, she shared a revelation with me—she has only been practicing mosaic for just around five years! In this time period she has traveled the world studying in workshops with some of the most celebrated artists learning the nuances and enhancing her skill.
She has recently opened this studio as her workspace but also as what she hopes to be a destination. Her goal—other than selling her own work—is to provide educational workshops in the art of mosaic and expand the awareness of this traditional art form that is little known in contemporary art circles, especially in the U.S.
Tammi is on the verge of marketing her artwork and educational programs, with plans to focus on building her offerings this summer so look out for a fresh experience in the local art community this year!
Check out more at www.arizonamosaico.com
– Justin Germain