Memorial Day: Setting their Memory in Stone through Mosaic Art

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Honoring Memorial Day through art is an everlasting for of expression that will immortalize any memory and preserve it forever!

“Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist.”

Eileen Miller

Interacting with art is well-known to be a healing and therapeutic act. During the past few months, museums have opened virtual exhibits. Families have come together over craft projects. Art in all its forms has helped us cope.

“…artwork allows your mind to be in a safe place while it contemplates the tougher issues you are dealing with. One can use the tools of brush, paint, pastels, crayons etc to expose and even for a short time color those issues in a different light.”

George E. Miller

When we honor Memorial Day here in the U.S., we remember loved ones, preserve their memories, and add beauty to cemeteries as we lay wreaths and place flowers. We also honor our fallen military veterans. Congress declared the last Monday in May as the national Memorial Day back in 1971.

It may also make us ponder the beauty of the memorials as we visit cemeteries. We always admire mosaic art and mosaic portraits on gravestones and public sites. Although flowers crumble, and photos and flags become faded and tattered, mosaic pieces remain untouched. They continue to tell their stories, touching the viewer.

Memorial Day Mosaic
Image Source: Pinterest

The use of mosaic for ancient graves was widespread. These Christian burials from Tunis are from the 4th to 5th Century AD.

Memorial Day Mosaic
Image Source: Pinterest

Just like modern memorials, they share the respect and love that the survivors felt for the deceased. This mosaic portrait is of a nine year-old boy from Ancient Rome. It’s clearly a tender tribute.

Memorial Day Mosaic
Image Source: Pinterest

“Grief releases love and it also instills a profound sense of connection.”

Jacqueline Novogratz

Mosaic portraits today can range from healing community projects to public sites that allow emotions to bubble up with all their complexity.

The very act of viewing art is deeply personal, but these larger mosaic art pieces connect to something deeper. The 9/11 Memorial Museum has an extraordinary example of the power of this form of art.

Memorial Day Mosaic
Image Source: 9/11 Memorial

“Every one of the 2,983 watercolor squares is its own shade of blue – one for each of the 2001 and 1993 attack victims – and the artwork as a whole revolves around the idea of memory. Our own perception of the color blue might not be the same as that of another person. But, just like our perception of color, our memories share a common point of reference.”

– 911 Memorial Museum site

“Love is the answer, and you know that for sure; Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.”

John Lennon
Memorial Day Mosaic
Image Source: Wikipedia

The John Lennon Memorial, Strawberry Fields, has become much more than it was intended. The central mosaic mosaic, bearing only the word “Imagine” from his famous song, is an informal gathering place today. Visitors leave flowers, play music, and find their own type of happiness in the small corner of New York’s Central Park.

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

John F. Kennedy
Memorial Day Mosaic
Image Source: Wikipedia

Or here, at the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Birmingham, England. Here, he is depicted with Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as with a multicultural group of people from all walks of society. The inscription reads: A man may die – nations may rise and fall – but an idea lives on.”

This mural is meant to inspire, and to tap into the way Kennedy’s life impacts social justice even today. The overall message here is not to grieve, but to honor and preserve a mission – moving forward with positivity.

“Loss can remind us that life itself is a gift.”

Louise Hay and David Kessler
Memorial Day Mosaic
Image Source: Margaret Almon

Depictions of individuals are well-suited to the mosaic art form. The texture and three-dimensional quality of mosaic wall art interacts with the light and the angle of viewing. The timeless quality of mosaic portraits seems to resonate with all of us.

The DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago has several fine mosaic tributes to influential figures. Their glass mosaic wall art is by Thomas Hill.

Hill’s take on mosaic art summarizes the personal nature of this type of memorial: “Anybody can do an oil painting,” he said during an interview, “but to take a face and do it with squares is hard. They have to be turned at an angle to catch the light”.

The portrait of the museum’s founder, Margaret Taylor Burroughs, is as resistant to fading as her artist legacy as an artist.

“I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me but I find I am grateful for having loved them. The gratitude has finally conquered the loss.”

Rita Mae Brown

Choosing the right way to honor a memory, a life, and a legacy is as complicated as our emotions.

Art helps us grapple with these feelings, and when used in memorials, helps us label our memories, identify the traits of what we loved and admired about a person, and share that with the world. Here at Mozaico, we have long been honored to create custom portraits for our customers.

”Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.

– Unknown

”I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.”

– Leo Buscaglia

Enjoy our Memorial Day Sale and get your hands on custom designs at one-in-a-lifetime prices! We here at Mozaico wish you a meaningful Memorial Day.

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