On exhibit

The work of Tracy Hodson can be seen virtually.

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Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center recently unveiled its newest Quarterly Art Show related to the theme “By the Light of the Moon” on the SCHHC website at https://southerncoos.org/art/.

“Walk” through the virtual gallery and listen to featured artist Tracy Hodson talk about her mosaics and the process involved in creating them during a Facebook Live event.

The art show and talk will be available on the SCHHC website for all to enjoy at their leisure. The show runs through June.

There is an eclectic selection of moon-themed art to browse through, created by local artists, from acrylics to watercolors, collages, photographs, wood carvings and more, along with Hodson’s stunning mosaics. Many of the pieces are for sale.

Artist statement by Tracy Hodson

“I stumbled upon mosaic art after making, on the fly, a garden mosaic for a friend out of flat mother-of-pearl beads and some polished rocks.

“The mosaic turned out really great and I enjoyed the process, of which I knew absolutely nothing before I started. I learned what I needed to know on the internet.

“Afterwards, I had a vision of another mosaic — a vivid, intense vision that burned in the center of my forehead — but I had no idea how to make what I saw. It would end up taking me seven years of learning and hard work before I was at all qualified to make that mosaic, ‘Ophelia,’ which is on display here. It is smaller than I envisioned, but other than that, it is almost exactly what I saw in my head. The image never faded, and I kept Gertrude's description of Ophelia's watery death in ‘Hamlet’ by my work table, to remind me that I would get to it as soon as I knew how.

“After I finished my friend's gift, I started looking at mosaic art online, and discovered a world of which I'd been entirely ignorant. I had no idea of it as a Fine Arts practice, a serious endeavor by mosaicists around the globe who were using, mostly, ancient methods to make contemporary art.

“The work I was seeing was as conceptual, post-Modern, deconstructive, and self-referential as the work of any painter or sculptor, and the artists were making use of everything from the traditional marble and other stone, smalti (Venetian mosaic glass), and gold, to upcycled hardware, found objects, and other ‘trash.’

“I took all of this in, spent quite a bit of time overwhelmed and unable to figure out what any of it might mean to me, and then saw a deceptively simple mosaic by Jacqueline Iskander (which I now own), made of marble and a little bit of smalti, and I knew that was what I wanted to do.

“I wanted to use mostly traditional materials and traditional methods, and find a way to make these hard, unyielding materials express some of the things I had cared about as a filmmaker. I haven't gotten there yet, but a few mosaics have come close to that kind of self-expression.

“The last seven years have been spent learning this difficult medium, on my own, with some very helpful long-distance mentoring from Jacqueline and other mosaic artists, who maintain a very lively and interactive community.

“I am still very much a student, and each mosaic I make is an effort to increase my skill level, mastery of the materials, and test my ability to make concrete the ideas or feelings I want to communicate to the world.

“I also, sometimes, simply revel in the beauty of the materials, and want to create a mosaic that emphasizes them. Everything I use comes from the Earth, even if transformed by the hands of glass or stone artisans, and often, that is enough to inspire me.”

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