Kara Armellino/Instructional Paraprofessional
“When things in life shatter and there is no hope of reassembly, use the pieces to create a mosaic that is even more beautiful than what you started with.” -Unknown
Students in Ms. Catalano’s World History class were introduced to the Byzantine Empire and the art form that played a huge role in Byzantine culture: mosaics. Much like the pieces of a puzzle, mosaics are pictures or patterns created through the use of small colored tiles, stones, or glass. Students, with the help of their art teacher, Mr. Hayden created an original mosaic. Students had to work as a team and find how all the pieces could fit together. While this sounds like a simple task, students realized quickly that communication and sharing were important factors in creating a successful piece. Students needed to talk to each other and trade tiles if need be to fit into different parts of the design more effectively. Along with learning a new art form, students also benefited from the therapeutic quality of this ancient technique. In the end, students were left with an artwork they not only created together, but can be proud of.
Evoking a sense of pride in oneself is one of greatest outcomes of creating art. Seeing their mosaic hanging in the halls of Ocean County College along with the other artwork produced throughout the year was a great visual culmination of their hard work and creativity. But even better, was the students being able to see their mosaic hanging with a SOLD sticker below it. Knowing that their hard work was appreciated by its viewers showed the young artists that by working patiently and with one another, they can accomplish great things. In a sense, by coming together, the students were very much like the pieces of their mosaic; without each of them, the piece would not be what it became.