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Aboriginal Art Mosaic Shower

Aboriginal Art Mosaic Shower

Aboriginal Art Mosaic Shower

West Hartford, Connecticut

The client Sara Knight standing in front of a Wandjina, a generic term for a group of ancestral beings in the Kimberley area who the Aboriginal people believed controlled the elements, bringing rains to the land and fertility to the people. Wandjina would be described as mahi-mahi, which means special, pure and sacred among the spirit beings of folklore.  The radiating lines indicate lightning, which the Wandjina controls.

Designer, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Mosaic Artists:  Beth Klingher, Richard Youngstrom, John Mansfield

Mosaic Installers:   John Pope, John Mansfield

Client:  Sara Knight

Contractor:  Patriot Builders

Sara Knight, a private homeowner and world traveler living in West Hartford Connecticut, contacted Modern Mosaic Arts in 2020 about creating a shower mosaic inspired by her travels in the Kimberly region of western Australia.  She and her husband spent many years exploring caves in the region that were adorned with Aboriginal paintings (or petroglyphs) that were thousands of years old.   After reading and studying Sara’s books on the subject, Cathleen began designing her modern and colorful take on the 4,000 year old drawings.  The final product is a masterful mosaic that brings history and art to life.  To see the rock art inspiration for the mosaics visit Rock Art Australia’s website.

The Design Process

The process began by taking measurements and photos of the existing shower, which had not been renovated since the 1970’s.  Seeing the possibilites to tie the mosaic shower in with other architectural elements in the bathroom, an custom made window cornice and built-in medicine cabinet were the perfect design elements.

Resource Material

With client supplied books and printed art, Cathleen also began extensive research online and found a weatlth of information about Aboriginal art including a website that explains the meaning of the rock art symbols and ghostly figures.

Designing the Mosaic

Taking ideas from several different caves and experiementing with placement of the various design elements, Cathleen quickly determined that she needed to add more color and pattern to the overall design.  

Custom architectural and fine art mosaics for residential and commercial clients.

Serving New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Worldwide shipping.
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Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital

Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital

NYU Langone, Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital Mosaics

New York, N.Y.

One of Modern Mosaic Arts most exciting projects was fabricating and installing five mosaic murals for the beautiful new NYU Langone, Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital Pavilion.  A state of the art facility located in Manhattan at the corner of 34th & 1st Ave, the hospital was designed with the needs of children and families in mind.  The pediatric specialists provide the most advanced inpatient and outpatient care for children who have rare and complex conditions, as well as more common childhood illnesses.  For more information about this incredible new facility, click HERE.

Creative Director, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Lead Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Jonathan Schreyer

Mosaic Artist:  Liadain Clancy

Mosaic Artsist:  Jasmine Jacobs

Installer:  Greg Hare

Client:  Dimensional Communications, Inc.

Contractor:  Turner Construction Company

Architects:  Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnerships

The ground floor lobby, which can be accessed on 34th street, welcomes patients and families with a replica of Lady Liberty made entirely of LEGO bricks.  The statue originally was created for the Toys R Us location at Times Square, but was purchased by the hospital when the store closed.  Surrounded by a bench in the shape of a star, Modern Mosaic Arts was commissioned to make a mosaic to cover the bench face.  Using Italian smalti, the artists created and installed a mosaic that replicates the look of the legos and complements the colors of the statue and upholstery.
In addition to the star bench mosaic, Modern Mosaic Arts was also asked to cover the face of a 60 foot long bench in a playful wave design that curves behind the Statue of Liberty.  Fabricating the mosaic of Italian smalti tile, the entire lobby pays tribute to the most recognized symbol or New York city while providing plenty of seating area for patients and families.
The elevator bank in the 7th floor lobby is surrounded by a custom built facade replicating New York City’s famed Grand Central Station, the hub of subway transportation that links Manhattan and the four outer boroughs.  Created by the talented carpenters at Dimensional Communications, the structure’s upper frieze is an 80 foot long mosaic of subway tracks that glistens with thousands of tiny glass tiles, each hand set by Modern Mosaic’s artists.
Anyone who has visited Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan will recognize the replica of the famed Prometheus sculpture behind the 7th floor reception desk.   Sculpted by the talented artist Hilda Borem, the golden figure floats gracefully over a mosaic background that features the signature greenery of the plaza area, and sparkles with flecks of gold smalti.
The 7th floor reading nook is designed to give patients and their siblings a private play area.  Modern Mosaic Arts created a charming mosaic that fits perfectly into the arched nook under the stairwell, and depicts a subway platform complete with characters awaiting their trains.

Custom architectural and fine art mosaics for residential and commercial clients.

Serving New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Worldwide shipping.
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Prospector Theater Fireplace Mosaic

Prospector Theater Fireplace Mosaic

Prospector Theater Fireplace Mosaic

Ridgefield, CT

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

Custom architectural and fine art mosaics for residential and commercial clients.

Serving New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Worldwide shipping.
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Entryway Mosaic, Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Entryway Mosaic, Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Entryway Mosaic Mural

Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

Creative Director, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Mosaic Artist: Claudia Schattman

Installer:  Greg Hare

Client:  Jill & Philip Lawrence

For a long time, the wall perpendicular to the front door of our client’s home in Mt. Kisco, New York had been waiting for the perfect project. The client wanted a mosaic to surprise her family for Christmas 2014. But not just any mosaic. Based on input from the client, the mosaic artists designed a family wall. Six faces representing the members of the family, were cut from mirror and strategically placed at their approximate heights. The “hair” surrounding the mirror faces is made from collected pieces that highlight each family member’s personality and interests. The background consists of swirls of bright color fields: reds, blues, greens and yellows. Found objects, donated by the family or discovered by the designers, are scattered throughout. The end result is a playful and personal wall mosaic that greets guests and family as they enter and exit the home. “I see something different each time I look at it!” exclaimed one of the sons.

Mosaic Details

Custom architectural and fine art mosaics for residential and commercial clients.

Serving New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Worldwide shipping.
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Matisse Garden Wall

Matisse Garden Wall

Matisse Inspired Garden Wall

Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

Designer, Mosaic Artist and Installer:  Cathleen Newsham

Mosaic Artist:  Ruby Korpics

Client:  Jill & Philip Lawrence

Garden wall mosaic tucked behind a beautiful home in Mt. Kisco, New York. Based on the paper cutouts of Henri Matisse, it is made of hand-cut ceramic tile on Wedi-board.

Custom architectural and fine art mosaics for residential and commercial clients.

Serving New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Worldwide shipping.
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