Exploring the Chicago Mosaic School

12 March 2020

An abstract landscape mosaic


As we Seek Beauty at 1000M, we often unearth nontraditional arts. Just this week, our ongoing search led us to discover a hidden Chicago gem: the Chicago Mosaic School. The school is a northside institution dedicated to preserving and promoting the far-from-mainstream craft, one that contributes to much of Chicago’s public art and vital charm.


Chicago Mosaic School

Founded in 2005, the Chicago Mosaic School is the brainchild of mosaic artist Karen Ami. After earning her BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ami traveled all the way to Italy to seek further mosaic instructions. It was there that she discovered a rare school formally teaching the art form. Returning to the US, Ami missed the community hub for the craft, and founded the Chicago Mosaic School, the only fine arts mosaic school in the country.

Today, the school continues to operate as a locus of connection for mosaic artists and those seeking to dabble in the craft. With a vibrant faculty and staff at its helm, the school offers a comprehensive program of over 150 classes and workshops. As a center that prides itself on creating an inclusive, nurturing environment, their robust programming includes on-going classes for all skill levels, workshops, visiting artist seminars, youth programs and even a certification program. 

Their space in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago consists of classrooms, studio spaces and a library. Through their classes, community-building efforts, partnerships with local 

businesses, teacher training and commissions for commercial and public sites, the school continues to keep the craft alive and thriving in the US. You can see their public art works at Columbia College Chicago, the East Lakeview Community Mural and countless schools across the city.


To learn more about the Chicago Mosaic School, their mission, their classes and more, visit their website.