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Prospector Theater

Ridgefield, Connecticut

 

Designer, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Designer, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Claudia Schattman

Client:  The Prospector Theater, Valerie Jensen, Founder

Architects:  Doyle | Coffin Architecture

Architectural Awards:  2016 HGTV Faces of Design Finalist: Posh Public Spaces, 2015 CODA Award Top 100, 2017 ACEC Merit Award, 2015 AIA Connecticut Design Award, 2016 AIA Connecticut Business Architecture Award

Cathleen Newsham teamed up with fellow artist Claudia Schattman in 2014 for a commission by Prospector Theater founder, Valerie Jensen, to create a mosaic for the theater’s freestanding fireplace. The theater, which opened in Ridgefield in November 2014, delivers a unique movie-going experience and honors its mission to provide vocational training and employment for adults with disabilities. Jensen requested two things of Newsham and Schattman: that they create a mosaic around the theme of “infinite possibility” and that they incorporate in the work dozens of Special Olympic medals that had been donated by athletes. Newsham and Schattman decided to create the mosaic using the French “Pique Assiette” method, which combines broken ceramics with found objects, a perfect style for the eclectic project.  The artists used the medals to represent stars – a literal nod to Hollywood, as well as a figurative reference to the theater’s mission: to reach for the stars. Color fields of blues and greens are made from hand cut glass, pottery, and ceramic tiles (made by the pair in their studio), while found objects and other treasures build the story.  Scattered throughout the work are words and phrases that convey the theater’s philosophy. The result is a giant “I Spy” experience.


“Creativity, conversation and continual discovery are the results of the stunning fireplace mosaic crafted by the talented ladies of Modern Mosaic Arts.  This interactive artwork inspires all who engage with it.  It is a stunning up-cycled mission based treasure!”     

Valerie Jensen, founder of The Prospector Theater