An exhibit by Falmouth mosaic artist Jim Bowen, featuring the original work used in his new publication, “My Mosaic Alphabet Book” will premier at Highfield Hall & Gardens on Saturday, September 17, with an artist reception from noon to 2 PM.
For the book, Mr. Bowen created 26 14x14 mosaic panels, one for each letter of the alphabet. This project took more than four years and 1,000 hours to complete. The mosaic panels were then photographed and paired with rhymes written by Mr. Bowen’s wife, Debbie, for a keepsake children’s book, which was released in July.
“Highfield Hall and Cape Cod Mosaic Workshops have a special bond,” said Mr. Bowen, who founded Cape Cod Mosaic Workshops in 2010. “It was there that I co-curated the National Mosaic Exhibition in 2011. The event was the largest attended at Highfield Hall at the time. The following two years we ran mosaic workshops at Highfield that attracted many students and teachers from all over the USA.” Since then, Highfield Hall has developed a reputation as the premier arts and cultural center on the Cape and in New England for its activities and art exhibitions, said Mr. Bowen, referencing the print show “Kanreki,” which features contemporary Japanese prints and has been on exhibit all summer at Highfield. “It is an honor to show my work in the same venue as so many renowned artists others have before.”
The “My Mosaic Alphabet Book” mosaics will be on view at Highfield through October 31. On October 8 and 9, Mr. Bowen will lead a two-day introductory mosaic workshop at the Falmouth Art Center.
“My Mosaic Alphabet Book” has been available for purchase since July, and so far Mr. Bowen has been excited about the public’s reaction to it. “So many folks say that the alliteration that Debbie wrote is delightful even for adults, and that children love looking for objects within the mosaic that correspond to each letter,” Mr. Bowen said. “There are many stories but my favorite is from one grandfather who told told me that his learning-disabled 3-year-old granddaughter takes the book to bed with her every night.”
Mr. Bowen has been surprised by the number of multiple orders he’s had for the book. “We didn’t realize it when we published the book, but people tell us that it is not only a book but a gift item.”
Highfield’s exhibition may be the only chance for the public to view the entire collection of mosaics Mr. Bowen created for the book, as he is hoping to sell the entire set to a hospital, school or museum. “Many people have asked if they could buy an individual mosaic letter panel and since we want to sell the collection together, we couldn’t do that.” Instead Mr. Bowen has made canvas prints of each letter than can be purchased through his Etsy site, which is titled My Mosaic Alphabet Book.
Both Jim and Debbie Bowen will sign copies of “My Mosaic Alphabet Book” at the September 17 reception. They will also be present at the fall open house on Sunday, September 18. Books will be available for purchase.