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Piecing it together : Mosaic artists show their work downtown at Main Street Cafe


Apala Egan/Special to the town Crier
April Maiten is among the artists slated to exhibit their mosaics at Main Street Cafe & Books throughout August.

Longtime Los Altos Art Club member April Maiten is putting the pieces together.

Maiten founded “Full Spectrum Mosaics: Artists of Silicon Valley,” an artists’ network, four years ago. Mosaic work is a distinctive field of art wherein artists use a variety of materials, including glass, ceramics, semiprecious stones, rocks, metals and any other items that might catch their fancy.

“Creating mosaic art is a lengthy process,” said Maiten, a Los Gatos resident. “It may take weeks to complete a piece, and an item might take up to a hundred hours to make.”

Maiten is among the artists scheduled to exhibit their mosaic works at Main Street Cafe & Books in Los Altos during August.

Two Los Altos residents, Kathy Richardson and Vaishali Sanghavi, are slated to display their artwork. The participating artists are set to appear at the cafe noon Aug. 31.

Richardson’s work consists mostly of architectural pieces such as backsplashes and panels for fire pits, with bold and dramatic elements in vibrant colors. Sanghavi creates a number of smaller pieces that highlight attention to detail.

Glass by its very nature is heavy, so manipulating the individual pieces can be difficult, Maiten said of her process. She added that outdoor mosaics require a different set of glues and only certain types of material are suitable for external displays.

“Within the world of fine arts, people tend to view mosaics more as a craft rather than an art form, and some museums will not want to show it,” she said. “People see our work and appreciate it for what it is.”

According to Maiten, there is an entire range of things artists can do with mosaics.

“Mosaics have been discovered in ancient Greece and Rome, too,” she said. “We would like to make those in the business of art view it as a form of art as well.”

The Bay Area boasts a number of mosaic artists, and Maiten said community support is especially strong in the Los Altos area.

Los Altos Hills hosted a juried exhibition at town hall, and the Los Altos Senior Center has displayed mosaic artwork. Restaurants such as Brian’s, The Original Pancake House and Main Street Cafe & Books have supported the mosaic artists’ efforts as well.

Main Street Cafe & Books is located at 134 Main St., Los Altos. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, visit aprilarts.com.

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