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Artist Statement

Michelle Y. Sider
Huntington Woods, MI
Mixed Media Artist

As a Michigan-based mixed media artist, my detailed glass mosaics explore the themes of identity, spirituality and of searching for a sense of place.

My work is often recognized by a bold use of color, expressive content and a painterly style. I studied techniques locally and later with artists in Italy, Israel, Belgium, Detroit, Boston and Costa Rica to develop this style. Underneath each of my mosaics is a fully-completed and highly-detailed original painting.

For the past seven years I have been creating my Reflections and Transparencies mosaic series. These works, which include still lives and landscapes, express my gratitude, awe and keen observations of the natural world. Inspired by my surroundings, I create light-focused mosaics as a metaphor for personal reflections. I aim to capture the moment of inspiration, awe and spirituality that I experience on the scene.  Using a variety of techniques that I have developed through the years, these works change color as the light fluctuates throughout the day. This technique is not only challenging, but also is a fun way to focus on the theme of light and reflections. 

Interest in my heritage and the untold stories of immigrants inspired my I am Yemenite series.  These glass mosaic portraits are meant to challenge perceptions of immigrants, and in particular share the story of Jews of Arab descent. The incorporation of hand-made jewelry, ancient pottery and other historically significant materials enhances the rich cultural significance of these pieces. My goal with this series is to spark conversations about the experiences of immigrants, minorities, the balance between assimilation and maintaining one’s identity and sharing untold stories from the region.

And my third mosaic series, On the Side of the Road, is a contemporary take on the surprising beauty I’ve uncovered in the broken surfaces of roads and everyday settings found while biking or hiking less-traveled roads around Michigan. It has been a particular joy of late to explore non-traditional ways to create mosaics in all of my works.

While the subject of my work varies, underlying themes capturing emotions, celebrating light, movement and spirituality and provoking thoughtful conversations can be seen throughout the body of my work. I hope the viewer is able to experience the sparks of my inspiration when they look at my artwork.

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