Laurel True — Resume

Laurel True is a public artist, educator and community organizer specializing in large-scale and site-specific mosaic projects. Her projects are focused in urban and developing areas and she is committed to fostering arts education and entrepreneurship both in and out of the classroom. True is co-founder of the Institute of Mosaic Art and has lectured and taught internationally. Her work has been featured in independent and mainstream media, books and publications. She has created and facilitated over a hundred projects over the last 20 years in the US, Mexico, Africa and Haiti.



True Mosaic Studio, Inc.
Owner, Founder  — 1991 - Present
Oakland / New Orleans

Professional mosaic studio specializing in site-specific installations, public art, private commissions and community projects. Consultant in field of mosaics for large-scale, public and community projects.

The Global Mosaic Project
Founding Director — 2011

Organization that brings community-based public art, entrepreneurial training and arts education to communities around the globe. Projects foster community engagement in the creation of site-specific works of public mosaic art, leaving a legacy of neighborhood beautification, community cultural development and arts training.

Institute of Mosaic Art, LLC
Co-Founder, Ex Director, Instructor — 2005 - 2011
Oakland, CA

Co-founded and developed the largest and most comprehensive mosaic school in the United States offering instruction in mosaic techniques to students of all levels. Developed extensive curriculum and programming. Directed program development, marketing, PR, hiring staff and community outreach. Taught professional level courses.

Mosaic Studio Supply
Founder — 2004 - 2010
Oakland, CA

Opened first retail mosaic supply store in the Bay Area. Located inside Institute of Mosaic Art. Responsibilities included store management, merchandising, marketing and PR.

San Francisco Mosaic Studio
Co-Founder, Instructor — 2000–2001
San Francisco

Mosaic studio specializing in site-specific mosaic murals, facades and private commissions. Taught courses in mosaic techniques from beginning to advanced levels in ceramic and glass mosaic to large student base.

Isaiah Zagar Studio
Apprentice Mosaicist — 1991
Philadelphia, PA

Apprenticeship with prolific mosaic artist with 40 years experience.  Worked on large scale, interior and exterior tile and mirror mosaic murals, facades and sculptural cement forms. Assisted public projects include the Painted Bride Art Center and public murals on South Street, Philadelphia.


Selected Public Commissions

Mirebalais Hospital Children’s Ward, 16 project locations throughout pediatric ward and children’s playroom, Mirebalais, Haiti, in partnership with Partners in Health
Tropical Haiti Mural, Zanmi Lasante Logo Inset and Mango Leaf Community Seat Wall, Mirebalais Hospital, Haiti, in partnership with Partners In Health

Water Lily, sculptural form, Hayes Valley Playground, SF, SF Arts Commission in partnership with Trust For Public Land

Generations, Oakland Firehouse 18, 2 mosaic murals, commissioned by Oakland Cultural Arts Department / City of Oakland, CA
Tree of Life Mural, Oakland Firehouse 18, mosaic murals, commissioned by Oakland Cultural Arts Department / City of Oakland, CA

Paradise, Hearts in San Francisco Project, commissioned by SF General Hospital Foundation

Suns Series Sculptures, San Francisco, CA, commissioned by SF Arts Commission
Oakland Arts Murals, Oakland, CA Series of three mosaic murals commissioned by AF Evans  Development Mosaic Bridge at the Uptown, Oakland CA, Commissioned by Forest City Development

Kaleidoscope Park Benches, Brentwood, CA, commissioned by Pulte Homes/ City of Brentwood
Rainbow’s End Park Benches, Brentwood, CA commissioned by Pulte Homes/ City of Brentwood
Woven Stories Benches, Willow Park, Oakland, CA. C series of 9 inset mosaic benches commissioned by Oakland Cultural Arts Department/ City of Oakland
Lafayette Mercantile Fountain, Lafayette, CA commissioned by SZFM Design and Cortese Investment

Oakland Arts Murals, Oakland, CA. Series of three mosaic murals commissioned by AF Evans Development
Marina Bay Murals, Richmond, CA. Series of four mosaic murals commissioned by Gary Breen Reality and Associates
Starscape Bench, Starlite Park, Milpitas, CA commissioned by Milpitas Alliance for the Arts
Dolphin Sculpture, Bertha Port Park, Oakland, CA commissioned by the Trust for Public Land

The Universe, Velocity Circus Museum, San Francisco, CA. Series of 23 architectural mosaic projects commissioned by Velocity Circus.
Love and Truth, Hearts in San Francisco, commissioned by SF General Hospital Foundation

Fruitvale Main Street Planters, series of 30 planters commissioned by Oakland Unity Council
St Boniface Church Murals, series of 15 mosaic murals commissioned by St. Boniface Franciscan Church, San Francisco, CA
Casa Segura Signage, HIV Education and Prevention Project, Oakland, CA
Seascape Mural, Marriott Hotel, Bel Harbor, FL

Circles Mural, Marlton Manor Residential Hotel, San Francisco, CA, 2003
Mosaic Donor Stones, George Mark Children’s House, San Leandro, CA, 2003

Colorful Richmond- Historical Perspective, 8 mosaic murals, Longs Drug Stores, Richmond, CA
Milpitas City Seal, Mosaic Mural at Milpitas City Hall, commissioned by Milpitas Alliance for the Arts, Milpitas, CA,

Mission Creek Mural, San Francisco, commissioned by Madrina Group/ New Langton Arts
Pat’s Bench, Pleasanton, CA commissioned by City of Milpitas
San Diego Children’s Hospital Sea Benches, in partnership with Topher Delaney Landscape
Duboce Park Playground, San Francisco, CA commissioned by Friends of Duboce Park


Selected Community Mosaic Projects — Lead Facilitator

Life Giving Water, New Orleans Healing Center, New Orleans. Open participation project in partnership with NOHC and Americanflat, NY
Carruth Cellars Community Mosaic Mural, Solana Beach, CA. Open participation mosaic mural created by community members of all ages. In partnership with Carruth Cellars Urban Winery
Community Mosaic Benches, La Montagne and Jacmel, Haiti, Series of nine sculptural mosaic benches created with community members, artists and trades people in southern Haiti to commemorate a shelter building project done by Medair International and USAID
Jacmel Memorial Mosaic Wall Project, Multi-part community mosaic mural in partnership with Art Creation Foundation for Children, Jacmel Haiti
Hayes Valley Playground Seat Wall, San Francisco, in partnership with the Trust For Public Land

Tree of Life and Sea Spirits, community mosaic murals in partnership with Art Creation for Children, Jacmel, Haiti
Lower Ninth Ward Village Mural, in partnership with L9WV and Community Built Association, New Orleans, LA

Ngong Hills, recycled glass mural with students at Rudolph Steiner School, Mbagathi, Kenya
Mosaic Benches for New Orleans Public Schools, community project with 500 participants (125 benches) in partnership with Crescent City Art Project
NOLA WOW, renegade community mosaic in 9th Ward, New Orleans, LA
Sego Lily Mural, in partnership with Kimball's Young Artists Academy, Park City UT

Kefa-Coffee From Ethiopia to Jingletown, Oakland, in partnership with Institute of Mosaic Art
Potrero Hill Park Bench, San Francisco, CA, in partnership with the Trust For Public Land
Tiki Toms Mural, in partnership with Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland, CA

Fisherman’s Tale, in partnership with Cross Cultural Collaborative, Nungua, Ghana, West Africa
Home, post- Katrina mosaic mural with school children, in partnership with by Belle Chase Academy, Belle Chase, LA. Funded by a grant from the Arts Council of New Orleans
Lopez Pallets Mural, in partnership with Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland, CA

Institute of Mosaic Art Façade Mural, Jingletown, Oakland, CA
Bertha Port Park Dolphin Sculpture, Oakland, in partnership with the Trust For Public Land
Sycamore Park Mosaic Sandbox, Community Built playground project Mill Valley, CA in partnership with Leathers and Associates, NY

Velocity Circus Mural, in partnership with Children United by Experience, Oakland, CA
Crucible Mural, in partnership with Crucible Arts and Industry, Oakland, CA
Mosaic Butterfly Sculpture, Crucible Youth Program, Crucible Arts and Industry, Oakland, CA

Spirits and Folklore of Ghana, in partnership with Cross Cultural Collaborative, Nungua, Ghana
Adinkra Hene (King of Adinkra), in partnership with Cross Cultural Collaborative, Nungua, Ghana
Respect the Earth, in partnership with Cross Cultural Collaborative, Nungua, Ghana

Creativity Arch and Teacher Training Pillars, in partnership with CCC, Nungua, Ghana

Ogue Be-History of Nungua, in partnership with Cross Cultural Collaborative, Nungua, Ghana  

Community Garden Mural, Marin Head Start Program, Novato, CA

World Path, mosaic mural with youth at Berkeley High School, Berkeley, CA
Neighborhoods, open participation project in conjunction with Precita Eyes Mural Festival, SF, CA

Mazomainie School Mosaic Mural, Mazomainie, WI


Associations / Memberships

Community Built Association
Society of American Mosaic Artists
National Association of Art Educators
Tile Heritage Foundation
American for the Arts
Surface Design Association
Glass Arts Society
Jingletown Arts and Business Association, Founding Member



2000     Studio Arte del Mosaico, Ravenna Italy
1990     University of Wisconsin, Madison: BA with Honors in African Studies
1989     Universite Chiek Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal, West Africa
1987     Parsons School of Design, New York
1986     School of the Art Institute of Chicago



2009     Kitengela Glass, Nairobi, Kenya
2008     Colton School Studios, New Orleans, LA
2001-4   Aba House Cultural Center, Nungua, Ghana
1990     Manufacture des Arts Decoratifs, Thies, Senegal
1986     Operation Crossroads, Africa


Selected Publications And Media Coverage

Think Africa Press
Nickelodeon News, January 2011
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Home Section, January, 2011

Mosaic Art Now Blog, Haiti Diary, June 2010
Mosaic Art Now Magazine, feature article, February, 2010
Oakland Local, Oakland Mosaic Center Builds Community...,January, 2010
Decorating Dive, Mosaic Art With A Mission, July 2010
Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau, Oakland Featured Artist
De Kunst Van Het Mozaieken, Dutch Mosaic Book, by Greet Weitenberg and Marcelo de Melo

Creative Capital: Laurel True’s International Public Art Projects, paper by Dr. Randy Sanders at the 2009 Conference of Arts in Community in conjunction with the Venice Biennale
HGTV SuperScapes, Episode HSUPR-202H, backyard makeover show
7 x 7 Magazine, Our 10 Favorite Public Art Projects in San Francisco
InStyle Magazine, April Issue
East Bay Express, Critics Choice section

Diablo Magazine, February Issue
San Francisco Business Times, April, 2008
The Forum, NPR Radio
View From the Bay, ABC, February 2008
Tile Magazine, Pushing Boundaries, Trends, April 2008
Pacific Sun, Marin, CA, March 23, 2007
DIY Network, Craft Lab, April 2007
Cooking Light Magazine, March 2007
San Francisco Chronicle, February 2007
Novo Metro, Oakland News, January 2007

Oakland Magazine, July 2006
Oakland Tribune, House to Home, March, 2006, Metro Section July 2006
Milpitas Post, cover, July 2006
Piedmont Times, April 2006
Bonita Living Magazine
HGTV Expert Village

HGTV, Double Take, November 2005
SPARK!, KQED Channel 9, Elevating the Everyday, Bay Area, February 23, 2005

Alameda Journal, October 7,2005
Oakland Tribune, Center Comes Together Piece By Piece, October 14, 2005
Hayward Daily Review, Institute of Mosaic Art Unique in California, October 15, 2005
Contra Costa Times, September 10, 2005
Groutline- Society of American Mosaic Artists, April 2004, June 2005, 2009

HGTV, Crafters Coast to Coast, October 2004
San Francisco Chronicle, Piece By Piece Mosaic Artist Gets the Job Done June 18, 2004
Mosaic Art and Style- Designs for Living Environments, by JoAnn Loctov, Rockport Press
Marin Independent Journal, July 22, 2004

Mosaic Techniques and Traditions by Sonia King
Oakland Tribune, Putting It Together, January 3, 2003

Craft Report
The Guild- Architects Edition 17
Channel 14 News, San Francisco, CA

Pleasanton Daily

 American Style Magazine
The Economist
Marin Independent Journal

San Francisco Examiner Magazine
San Francisco Bay Guardian
Channel 4 News, San Francisco
New Mission News

Gardens International
The New York Times

Making Mosaics- Designs, Techniques and Projects, Altamont Press


Teaching Experience

Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland, CA
Seattle Mosaic Arts
Art Creation Foundation For Children, Jacmel, Haiti
FOSAJ (Fondation Sant D’A Jakmel), Haiti
New Orleans School of Art and Craft
YaYa (Young Artists Young Aspirations) New Orleans, LA
Billick Rock Art, Todos Santos, Mexico
San Francisco Mosaic Studio
New Orleans School of Glass
Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA
Aba House Cultural Center, Nungua, Ghana
Society of American Mosaic Artists Conference Instructor 2007, 2004
Community Built Association Workshop Facilitator 2010


Lectures/Speaking Appearances

The Power of Art: Building Creative Capital Through Community Mosaics, Nationally Touring Lecture, 2011
            Carruth Cellars Winery, Solana Beach, CA
            Seattle Biomed, Seattle WA
            Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, Philadelphia, PA
            New Orleans School of Art and Craft
            Ceil Gallery, Charlotte, NC
Institute of Mosaic Art Lecture Series, multiple engagements, 2005-2011
American Craft Council, San Francisco, CA, exhibition demonstrator, 2009
California College of Art (CCA), Oakland, CA, guest lecturer in Community Art/ Public Life Program, 2007
Ghana College of Art and Design, Ghana, West Africa, Guest Lecturer, 2004
Community Built Association:
Panelist: International Community Built Mosaics in Ghana 2006 Conference, Monterey, CA
            Presenter: Balancing Passion and Profits 2008 Conference, Monterey, CA
Society of American Mosaic Artists Conferences:
            Panelist: Inner-City Mosaics, 2009
            Panelist: Social, Creative and Educational Impact of Community Built Mosaics, 2011, Austin, TX
Precita Eyes Mural Arts, Community Arts Panelist, 2005



Juror’s Choice Award, Mosaic Arts international, 2011
City of Oakland Percent for Art Commission for Firehouse 18, 2009
Eye Opener Award, Second City Gallery, Long Beach, CA, 2009
Oakland Indie Award, Neighborhood Dynamo, 2007
Arts Leadership Award, Alameda County Arts Commission 2006
Artist of the Year Nomination, Oakland Chamber of Commerce 2006
City of San Francisco Percent for Art Commission for Ocean Avenue, 2005
Best Mural, International Category, Precita Eyes Mural Center, San Francisco, CA


Selected Exhibitions

Mosaic Arts International, Mexican Cultural Center, Austin TX

Contemporary Mosaic Art: An Exquisite Collection, Concourse Gallery, Bank of America, SF
Surface, solo photography exhibit, Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland, CA

Mosaic Arts International, Museum of Man, San Diego, CA
Visions/ Journeys, solo exhibition, Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland, CA
Tesserae: The Art of Mosaics, Second City Gallery, Long Beach, CA
New Work, solo exhibition, St Ives Spa and Gallery at Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT

Cutting Edges: Contemporary Mosaic Art Invitational, Lake Oswego, Oregon
Inspired by: Contemporary Mosaics and the Historical Tradition, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
Jingletown Junction, Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA

Constructions, California Modern Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Mosaic Arts International, Mesa Contemporary Arts Center, Mesa, AZ
Heros and Hearts Exhibition, Macy’s Union Square, San Francisco, CA
Heros and Hearts, Geras-Tousignant Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Art of Jingletown Junction, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland
Bad Ass Mosaics, Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland, CA
Faculty Exhibit, Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland, CA
California Mosaics, Institute of Mosaic Art, Oakland, CA

Glass Art Group Exhibit, Montclair Gallery, Oakland, CA

Sideshow, solo exhibition at Throckmorton Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
Opus Veritas; Fragments of Truth, Museo ItaliaoAmericano, San Francisco, CA
Faction: Mosaics from the Outer Limits, Frjtz Ghiardelli, San Francisco, CA

N.O.W; New Mosaics, Albatross Gallery, Berkeley, CA
Hearts of San Francisco, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA
New Visions; Introductions 2003, Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA
L’Arte del Mosaico, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA


Partnering Agencies And Organizations

Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Trust For Public Land, San Francisco, CA
Medair International, Switzerland
Art Creation Foundation For Children, Jacmel, Haiti
Young Artists, Young Aspirations (YAYA), New Orleans, LA
Cross Cultural Collaborative, Inc, Nungua, Ghana
InStyle Magazine and St. Ives
Lower Ninth Ward Village, New Orleans
Crescent City Art Project, New Orleans, LA
Community Built Association
Opportunity Impact, San Francisco, CA
Potrero Hill Neighborhood Center, San Francisco, CA
Life Learning Academy, San Francisco, CA
FOSAJ, Jacmel, Haiti
Kitengela Glass, Mbagathi, Kenya
Tile Heritage Foundation
Society of American Mosaic Artists
American Craft Council
Precita Eyes Mural Center, San Francisco, CA
Selected Collections
Mirebalais Hospital, Mirebalais, Haiti
San Diego Children’s Hospital
Marriott Hotel, Bal Harbor, FL
City of Jacmel, Haiti
City of Oakland
City of San Francisco
City of Milpitas, CA
City of Pleasanton, CA
City of Brentwood, CA
Chevron Clean Energy Solutions
Pulte Homes, Brentwood, CA
Longs Drug Stores California
Fatoush Restaurant, New Orleans, LA
Ria’s Bluebird Restaurant, Atlanta Georgia
Baobab Village, San Francisco, CA
Bollywood Restaurant, San Francisco
Velocity Circus Museum, San Francisco, CA
Kabacoff Glassman Residence, New Orleans, LA
Carruth Cellars Urban Winery, Solana Beach, CA
New Orleans Healing Center
Kimball Art Center, Park City Utah