SAMA: A Champion of Mosaic Art
SAMA, short for Society of American Mosaic Artists is the largest nonprofit mosaic art organization in the world, with around 1,200 members active in the mosaic field: from art suppliers, to mosaic experts and collectors.
The society was formed in 1998 by Janet Kozachek, Allison Way Hank, Jeri Burdock, Sonia King, Connie Wannamaker and Sven Warner. During SAMA’s early days, Lia Catalano, Georges Fishman and Nathaniel Wallace were appointed to the board of trustees. The organization was originally aided by grants and donations and is today a thriving non-profit organization that promotes mosaic art. It is run almost exclusively through investment from volunteers led by the board of trustees and assisted by an operations manager, graphic designers, grout line editor, in addition to an executive director.
The society puts together a number of events, activities and programs. It aims to create an opportunity for the art form to grow, both creatively and professionally. The society also sees itself as a teacher that guides the art community and the public in everything related to classical and contemporary mosaic art. SAMA has plenty of goals it hopes to reach within the next ten years. By 2020, it hopes to have expanded worldwide and incorporated sub-structures or sub-fields that fall under the mosaic art umbrella. These structures would include workshops, conferences, galleries and exhibitions. SAMA also realizes the importance of a strong web presence in order to spread its mosaic art message in an increasingly online-based community. Online affiliates, social networks and links to events and articles are just some of the cyber elements that will eventually prove vital to SAMA’s survival.
The wonderful mosaic art form needs champions and advocates that continuously innovate and expand the field further. Through societies like SAMA, it appears that mosaic art won’t be going anywhere soon.