About EC Member
A Michigan-based mixed media artist, Michelle Sider’s detailed works draw from a globally-informed perspective.
In her illustrations, paintings and especially in her lush and detailed glass mosaics, Sider is known for exploring the themes of identity, of seeking a sense of place, and showing light and spirituality.
Sider uses a painterly style and her works are often recognized by bold, colorful designs and expressive content. A rich beauty and depth is expressed in her work and it often evokes strong emotions in those who view and experience it.
“ My work has been described as having an ethereal quality,” Sider noted.
That may be most applicable to her mosaics. Sider was inspired to make 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.
Sider spends more than 100 hours on each mosaic she makes.
“I use the same techniques that stone cutters have perfected over the centuries to ensure that the geometry of each piece is carved with exquisite precision, so it fits precisely next to the adjacent one. Since I do not use grout in-between pieces, with the exception of when I intentionally uses grout lines for a design element, this precision is necessary to create subtle transitions, tones and shades of color.”
In her mosaics, Sider carefully places each piece of glass at one of five angles to highlight the reflective qualities and depth of color as it captures light. She has trained with expert glass cutters in Italy, Belgium, Israel, Costa Rica, Boston and Detroit to perfect her technique.
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.
For the past year she’s been developing this series of mosaics titled “I am Yemenite.” It’s 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 and of people of color living in different regions of the world.
Sider has completed four mosaic portraits in the series so far, each of which focuses on a different part of Yemenite Jewish culture.
Sider is a member of Embrace Creatives as well as the Detroit Fine Artists Breakfast Club, Society of American Mosaic Artists and Mosaic Artists of Michigan.
Look for Michelle Sider’s work online at www.michellesstudio.com and find it at Twisted Fish Gallery in Elk Rapids, Michigan. For commission work, please contact 248-330-7356.