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Experience this stunning exhibition of contemporary mosaic portraits created by the talented young artists of the internationally-known Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli based in Northern Italy. The work of these skilled artists utilizes a mix of found materials and age-old mosaic art techniques to create iconic portraits that offer a fresh take on an ancient medium. Their methods aptly nod to the art of assemblage, a medium embraced by many of the most notable artists from Northern California such as Robert Hudson and Jess. The artists have created 22 mosaic portraits of Italian-American cultural icons of our age. Their choice of subject matter ranges from the well-known Italian-American actor Sylvester Stallone to singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, whose mother is of Italian-Irish descent.

Curated by Guglielmo Zanette, Italian-American Icons is a remarkable collection of mosaic portraits that highlight the skill and artistry of these emerging artists. Along with an array of palpable influences—from agriculture, film and business—we celebrate the cultural affinities of Marin County’s Italian heritage through this exhibition.

The exhibition is presented by MarinMOCA in collaboration with Associazione Naonis and the Italian Film Festival, under the patronage of the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.


Wednesday, Sept. 29 | 1-2:30 PM and Saturday, Oct. 2 | 2-3:30 PM

Contemporary Mosaics Demonstration with SPECIAL GUEST ARTIST FROM ITALY
Instructor: Denise Toson

Special guest artist from the Italian American Icons exhibition leads two mosaic demonstration opportunities at MarinMOCA.

Go behind the scenes with a contemporary mosaic master who will demonstrate the tools, materials, and techniques used in contemporary mosaic-making. You will observe the unique approach to color theory in mosaics, how this contrasts with use of color in other media, and apply what you see to a greater appreciation of mosaic artwork made from smalti (hand-cut glass). Smalti is used by the contemporary mosaic masters who created the works on view in Italian American Icons. This is the finest mosaic-making material and creates a distinct look and feel from
ceramic tile. View examples of how mosaic art has evolved from Roman through Byzantine and Contemporary styles.

Seating is limited, reserve your spot today.
Admission $10

Buy tickets and register for the demonstration


Guglielmo Zanette, film director, architect and designer, graduated from the prestigious Politecnico in Milan. During his long career, he has collaborated with both the private and public sectors to promote new forms and expressions in contemporary mosaic art. ITALIAN AMERICAN ICONS is the latest of his successful features and it has been realized after two frantic, intense and extremely creative years of cooperation with young artists from different countries: Italy, France, Venezuela, Russia, Kazakhstan. The collection is a unique blend of art, technique, tradition and culture: an exquisite innovation in the contemporary art scene — a living, speaking testimony of the most iconic faces of our Italian American artistic community. These precious mosaic works are characterized by a wide range of high-quality vitreous enamels which are still produced in the antique furnaces of Venice and Murano by expert glass craftsmen in over 5,000 different colors: a true excellence of made in Italy.

Denise Toson graduated from the Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli and is an artist in residence of MarinMOCA. Her work is featured in Italian American Icons on view through November 7, 2021.




Date: Da Saturday, September 11, 2021 a Sunday, November 07, 2021

Entrance : With fee


MarinMOCA, 500 Palm Drive, Novato, CA