About the Mosaic

Background on the Project

In the spring semester of 2016 the ASUNM Arts and Crafts Studio completed its first annual Community Mosaic Mural “Alma Mater.” The mosaic was completed through a series of workshops that invited UNM Undergraduate students to participate in the carving, glazing and installation of tiles that were incorporated into the mural. The mural will be continued each spring and will grow and change with the hands of each student who participates in this community project. 

mural design with staff

“Alma Mater” 

For the first mural Studio staff members wanted to pay homage to the University of New Mexico.  The phrase “Alma Mater” or  "nourishing mother" was chosen as the theme in order to display their appreciation for the University’s support of the Studio, this project, and its students in general.  Studio staff members interpreted the theme visually with a Lobo and her pups that are looking up to her for guidance and support as they venture forward. This scene is encapsulated in an abstract rising sun with swirling clouds that frame it.  The ties that make up the clouds are hamas, a by-product from the Arita Japan style of pottery throwing that is taught at the University of New Mexico.  If you look closely at the tiles in the mural you will see that many have unique carvings and glazed images on them. Students who participated in workshops throughout the semester made these. The mural combines professional mosaic techniques with tiles made by students of all skill levels to create a visual blend of color, texture, and pattern. 

Closeup of Mural

Detail of tilesDetail of yellow tiles