The small artistic niche of mosaics captured Bonnie’s imagination 30+ years ago. A college professor she was studying monumental sculpture with incorporated architectural glass mosaics. He introduced her to a world she knew nothing about. Her first mosaic commission was done as an undergraduate at New College in Sarasota, Florida. Bonnie took a detour for nearly 20 years working in the animation and variety television world. Mosaics found her again in the late 90s. In Art Therapy circles, mosaics are credited with healing properties; the fitting together of disparate pieces re-imagines the broken. That idea led her to find and grow the community of Mosaic.
She started teaching kids in her garage, then their parents wanted to learn; in 2007 she opened Maverick Mosaics Art School and Studio. In a 3 year period, Maverick Mosaics hosted over 1,500 students. Bonnie also hosted world-renowned mosaic artists to lead workshops. As a consequence, her skills were honed by working with masters of the craft.
The cost of supporting a public space required innovative thinking and hard work. Large-scale custom and public artwork paid the bills. Concerned that the art form of mosaic will not grow and be sustained in America unless active recruitment of the “next generation” becomes a priority, Bonnie has worked in several regional schools facilitating large-scale community permanent mosaic installations, most often with large groups of youngsters. The Maverick Legacy Program is one of her proudest accomplishments.
Managing the overhead costs of a commercial property was exhausting. One door closes another opens. Two new opportunities crossed Bonnie’s path in very short order. She was invited to teach Contemporary Mosaics for the Smithsonian Institution’s Studio Arts Department in Washington, DC, and I was introduced to several teaching opportunities in other parts of the world. For the past 10 years, she has been leading workshops and tours in Mexico and several European locations. Although Covid disrupted both activities, Bonnie immediately transitioned to interactive online teaching, and the Smithsonian streaming courses proved hugely popular. Only one year of teaching abroad was postponed. During that time, she created Make It Mosaic art kits, produced several videos for the YouTube channel and began the development of the Make it Mosaics Online Courses.