Friday, May 16, 2008

Gila Rayberg - New Orleans Mosaics ...and all that jazz!

Did you read the entry I made about Elizabeth Raybee the other day? Turns out she is from a family of six artistic siblings, the youngest of which is Gila Rayberg, today’s featured artist. Gila wrote to me after I made the entry about Elizabeth and I stopped by her site afterward to see her work. I knew right away that I had to write an entry about her, too. Her art is gorgeous!

(I love how this blog has connected me from one fantastic artist to another!)

Gila is a multi-talented, fine art mosaic artist/musician who lives in the same city as my best friend, Katy, none other than New Orleans, LA! (Turns out that Gila knows another of my good friends, Manon, and her husband, Albinas, and has performed in a few of the concerts that Albinas has hosted! Small world.)

About this fair city, Mario Batali once said, "There's no mediocrity accepted." I wonder if he had just come from one of Gila's exhibits? Gila’s exceptional mosaics certainly capture the spirit of New Orleans....the music, the diversity. Her studio is even listed in the NOLA Fun Guide!

New Orleans has been characterized as France, Spain and the USA all blended together into one place. Gila's work reflects these qualities and more. As a matter of fact, if you're in the area and would like to see this for yourself, she will be participating in the 36th annual Faubourg Marigny Home Tour & Art Market his Sunday, May 18, 2008 from 10am - 4pm at Washington Square. (Elysian Fields between Dauphine & Royal).

Each of Gila's mosaics are individually designed with great care and attention to detail. Tesserea are hand cut, randomly smashed, or cut using a tile saw. The depth and texture of different materials used in combination creates contrast and a sense of movement, while the use of irridescent glass and mirror infuses an environment with ever changing reflections of light and color.

Gila studied music and art in college. After her graduation from Arizona State, she moved to San Francisco and quickly found a place among a community of improvisational musicians, composers and artists. During this period, Gila was introduced to mosaics by her sister, Elizabeth, who, if you will recall from the earlier entry, is an internationally known artist in her own right. Gila assisted Elizabeth on a number of large mosaic installations and subsequently, began creating other small pieces of her own.

“As a freelance trombonist & part time office slave, I managed to save enough money for my dream trip around the world.”

“A year long solo journey took me to Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Israel, and Egypt. Before long I was living in Kuching, East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, teaching & playing music. Being a faculty member in the Music Department at the newly established University of Malaysia, Sarawak was an exciting experience. “

From my central South East Asian locale I had the opportunity to travel extensively in most of the neighboring countries. During these adventures, I collected unusual art, including textiles and musical instruments, representative of local cultures. With each excursion I became increasingly fascinated with the ingenous art which surrounded me!"

“Soon after settling in New Orleans in 1999 my love for mosaic was rekindled while creating a table for my partner Mark's birthday. "The Jester Timpanist" left him unusually speechless and forever supportive of my growing artistic endeavors. Mark's constant inspiration & enduring support frees me to be creative & experimental!"

As an active trombonist in New Orleans with the legendary Deacon John Moore Gila stayed busy performing, yet also allowed herself time to indulge in her passion for mosaics.

"Since Hurricane Katrina, all that has changed. Although she caused much destruction & still accounts for much confusion, I took this as an opportune time to fully focus my energies on creating custom Mosaics."

The unique way various materials break often helps me to determine the character of a finished piece, or may entirely change the direction of a work in progress. The spontaneity involved in laying the tesserea is one of the things I most enjoy about mosaics."

Like her sister, Elizabeth who teaches fun mosaic classes
in the Bay Area, Gila teaches workshops in New Orleans.

When you have a minute, cruise around on Gila's great web site. There seems to be something there for of her world journeys, more mosaics than you can shake a stick at, art furniture.... workshops....all sorts of fun. Oh, and if you're interested, Gila is available for commissions. Oh, and if you'd like to see even MORE eye candy, Gila has a flickr site as well!


Rosalie said...

I love love love the Buddha one. Love it!

Editilla d'Aphasia said...

Oh you rock and roll! What a wonderful blog.
I can't settle on a favorite piece--in this entire blog, let alone amongst these fine mosaics.
I hung you onto today's Ladda.

Thank you so much, Noble Mona.

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