Special to the Union
ARCATA – The mosaic art of Laurel Skye will be featured in “Bits and Pieces,” an art show at The Sanctuary, 1301 J St. in Arcata through March 31. There are mosaic bottles, shoes, mirrors, wall hangings, boxes and more. There will be a one-day clothing sale in March for Arts! Arcata during the show. Estate items for sale that day include clothing, accessories and boots. The mosaic show captures the essence of the artist herself and how she lived.
Skye was born in Chicago in 1946 and has lived in Hollywood, New York City and Montreal before finding herself in Humboldt County. Before discovering mosaics, she was a musician, made jewelry and leather belts and opened her own restaurant in Berkeley.
There she survived a devastating house fire which burned most of her body and suffered the loss of a child. Though she had more often than not lived with pain and suffering, Skye always created art and music.
Skye started mosaics around 2000, with a toaster Skye mosaicked for a contest at Los Bagels, at the heels of an emotional divorce and losing her mother whom she home-cared for.
The business took off and with the years to come, after the age of 50, Laurel Skye made a name for herself in Arcata, internationally and in the mosaic community.
She gave back to the local community and created several public works of art, including, but not limited to, the trash cans on the Arcata Plaza, the planter boxes at Los Bagels, the fence outside Wildwood Music and mural for the Seascape Restaurant in Trinidad.
Working with her daughter, Marley, Laurel ran her business, Laurel Skye Designs, selling mosaics and mosaic supplies, published Mosaic Renaissance, a mosaic instructional book and she taught classes at her workshop in Arcata as well as around the US and internationally and was an active member of The Society of American Mosaic Artists.
As a teacher and artist, she inspired and touched many of her students' lives as well as fellow mosaic artist friends. Only in her last few years of life did Skye slow down as an artist and entrepreneur as medical issues claimed a stronger hold on her life, including lung cancer, which lead to her passing on July 22, 2018.
Laurel Skye’s home environment was a work of art in itself, magical, full of mosaics and museum-like.
I can only hope, that with this show, we can recreate the mosaic wonder that Laurel Skye was.