431 Alicia Garrison


I’ve been making mosaics in Philadelphia since 2008. My first day I dove right in and started working on a house mural in South Philly. Then I trained working on a mosaic piece that enveloped the entire inside and outside of a warehouse, and a project that covered all four walls and the ceiling of the basement of a music shop on South Street.

I’ve since designed and created three mosaic installations all over Philadelphia. I worked with students from the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and Germantown Friends School to create a piece for Maplewood Mall, a landmark in Germantown. I made a 16×4 foot abstract mosaic of children reading books in front of a sunrise in West Philly, and most recently I was able to install a piece inside a closet at the Colored Girls Museum here in Philadelphia.

One day I was at a clay studio cutting custom tiles for a project. I was in full-force work mode, so I got straight to business. I cranked out as many custom cut tiles as I could and actually finished early. I figured I’d just go home since my work was done, but the clay studio owner said “Why don’t you make something for yourself?”

I had been working on projects for other entities, organizations, or institutions so much that when it came to making large scale art for myself, I was usually too exhausted. The studio owner couldn’t believe that I never made anything for myself and ordered me to sit and make a tile just for me.

My mind was blank and tired, so I kept it simple. I went through all of the clay stamp designs until I found one that made me happy. Here it is.