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Through mosaic art-making, artist Jessica Laub coalesces her life passions into joyful, tangible forms. Laub's mosaics and sculptures range in size to serve as the focal point of a room or to add a splash of color and positivity to a patch of garden.
"My artistic style is characterized by a bold use of color, strong sense of line and a loose hand," she says. "I am inspired by the beauty I encounter in the world around me and in my connections with others. Common themes I explore are relationships, communication, meditation, plants, animals, magical realms and celestial bodies."
Laub, who is also a ceramicist, creates many of the tiles used in her mosaics. She also reuses fragments of everyday objects like stained glass, broken dishes, mirrors and what she describes as "shiny tesserae."
As an environmentalist and nature lover, this is important to Laub.
"The mosaic process allows me to reuse materials that might otherwise end up in landfills," says Laub.
Like many artists, the pandemic has wiped out most of her income. Laub's jobs as the Lead Artist at Sojourner Family Peace Center through Artists Working in Education (AWE) and ArtWorks for Milwaukee at Silver Spring Neighborhood Center/Browning Elementary have both been postponed.
"We had a lot of positive momentum going with both projects and it is disappointing to have to put that excitement on hold," says Laub. "In both cases I am employed as an independent contractor and payment is dependent on time put in on the project, so therefore my income has indeed been negatively affected by the pandemic and stay-at-home order."
Currently, Laub is concentrating on selling her mosaics online and provides no-contact delivery in Greater Milwaukee.
"I have many outdoor mosaic pieces available that will look great in yards and gardens this summer," she says.
Although this is a time of challenge, for Laub it is also a time of reflection, gratitude and hope.
"The process repeatedly teaches me to embrace imperfection and that it is possible to be both broken and beautiful," says Laub.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.