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Pears 1 is a glass mosaic created with hand-made Italian smalti, hand-made stained glass and gold. Expertly cut and placed at precise angles, the glass actually changes colors as the sun fluctuates throughout the day. This piece is 3-D which accentuates the reflections and provides a fun textural quality.
“ Art has the power to heal the soul”- Michelle Sider
A Michigan-based mixed media artist, Michelle Sider’s detailed works draw from a globally-informed and thoughtful perspective.
In her illustrations, paintings and especially her lush and detailed glass mosaics, Sider is known for exploring the themes of identity, of seeking a sense of place, and featuring light and spirituality.
Sider has perfected a painterly style and her works are often recognized by bold, colorful designs and expressive content. A richness and depth is expressed in Sider’s work that often evokes emotions in those who view and experience it.
“My work has been described as having an ethereal and painterly quality,” Sider has noted.
That may be most applicable to her mosaics. Sider was inspired to make glass mosaics after viewing them at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and on travels abroad to Italy and Israel. She studied the techniques locally and later with artists in Italy, Israel, Belgium, Detroit, Boston and Costa Rica to develop her style. Her painting background strongly informs the realistic and abstract approach she takes with mosaics.
Underneath each of her mosaics is a fully-completed and highly detailed painting which serves as a guide to the overall look and feel of the finished work.
Since 2019, she’s been developing this series of mosaics titled “I am Yemenite.” The works are meant to challenge perceptions of immigrants, and in particular share the story of Jews of Arab descent. She’s embraced the history behind these works and hopes to spark conversations about the experience of immigrants, minorities, assimilation vs. maintaining identity and of people of color living in different regions of the world.
Concurrently, Sider has been creating glass mosaic and gold works focusing on reflected light and light filled landscapes. She expresses her gratitude and awe for the beauty that exists in our complicated world through these works.
“In times like these we turn to the arts as a way to relax, decompress or change our mood. I thought it would be fun to focus on the theme of reflected light while using reflective materials such as glass and gold. Surrounding yourself with beauty can help you have a positive and grateful view which I think is very healthy for the mind, body and soul.” she said.
In yet another exciting body of work, Sider has created her “On the Side of the Road” series. Michigan’s roads get a lot of attention – primarily because areas are often in need of repair. However Sider found something else along the state’s scenic roadways – inspiration. Using the patterns created by crumbling asphalt, tar, strewn rocks, debris, grasses and other materials which inspire the abstract patterns in her work, Sider creates exquisitely textured mosaics. Incorporating glass, stone, metal, bicycle parts, beads and other materials into her painterly approach to mosaic allows her to incorporate beauty and array of textures into artful pieces fit for any collector.