Piece Maker

Local mosaic artist creates beauty from broken fragments; wins international acclaim. 

Congratulations to East Falls mosaic artist Trish Metzer for achieving international recognition her work creating a 900-foot tile mosaic mural in an indigenous mountain town of Zacatlan de Las Manzanain Puebla, Mexico. For three years, she a team of 14 apprentices (and hundreds of volunteers) worked together to turn the wall of Zacatlan’s oldest cemetery into a colorful, glittering representation of the area’s history, legends, and culture.

The dramatic mural has spurred tourism and spawned a local arts economy that’s revitalized the town. “I’m proud to say that my fourteen apprentices are now carrying the legacy of mosaic even further and have become agents of positive change in their community,” Trish said.

For years, Trish taught mosaic and developed mural outreach curriculum for the then, newly established Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, an art installation and cultural hub created by famous mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar. Through her work at the non-profit and her travels with Zagar and his wife Julia, Trish became aware of how tile can build bridges and transcend barriers of class and culture.

In Atlanta last month to accept her award at the 2018 Coverings International Design and Installation Awards, she thanked those who supported her project, noting that the ripple effect of cultural exchange projects goes deeper than race, nationality, and individual egos. “For me, making mosaic art has the power to heal what is broken beyond the tiles.”

She added, “I am grateful for all I learned in Zacatlan – my time there enriched me by providing a window into a beautiful way of life and hospitality that is unique to this special community in Mexico.” Trish also thanked the dear friends and strangers who fed and (nurtured) her, and so patiently taught her to speak their language. “You have made me a better person,” she said.

Trish and chef find authentic Mexican components in Philly’s Italian Market. (April 2018)

What’s next for Trish? Travel! Trish hosted a sold-out Mexican dinner party recently in the Trolley Car Café’s new dining room that featured five courses of authentic (and exquisite) regional dishes and a piñata! She’s planning another “Taste of Mexico” soon and also organizing a group trip this August to Zacatlan!

Guests will stay in a private camping resort built with ecologically sustainable adobe and stone materials. The accommodations can better be described as Glam-ping featuring cabins suited with posh interior designs, private fireplaces and balconies overlooking pristine natural springs. Trish has plans to enjoy many artistic and culture experiences with each small tour group, including a hands-on mosaic mural workshop and excursions to places of rare natural beauty.

Space is limited, so if you’re interested in getting up close and personal with a part of Mexico few Americans ever see, contact Trish Metzner on Facebook or drop her a line thru Jasmine Fields, manager of the Trolley Car Café. (Jasmine will also have the scoop on any upcoming events Trish is planning.) Trish is also hosting a meetup for anyone interested in more trip information on Tuesday, June 12th, 7pm – 9pm. Email Trish your name, address & contact info.

Follow @trishmetznermosaic and visit her website MadeInMosaic.com. PS If you catch her working on her wheat motif on LeBus, by all means say congrats or just say hello – her smile will brighten your day.

Image: Captured by Caity (as featured in “EF Faces” Feb 2018)

Most photos courtesy of Trish Metzner (aka grabbed from her social media, thanks Trish!)


1 Comment

  1. Stunning pieces of art and an awesome way to add vibrance and beauty to a community. Hope the trip goes well

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