Chicago Mosaics



Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It is a technique of decorative art, as well as interior and exterior decoration.

Objective: Students will learn about the history, design and execution of this art form. They will explore, help design and execute a large mosaic that will be installed at the school representing one of the five tenets the school is built on. This work of art will provide each student the opportunity to become part of the legacy it is sure to grow into. Additionally they will complete a smaller individual piece of their own.

In preparation for Agora week the students will explore the downtown area and investigate the variety and types of mosaics that adorn our fair city. In class they will delve into the building of Christian basilicas in the late 4th century, and examine how wall and ceiling mosaics were adopted for Christian uses.

The students will be instructed by professional artists from The Chicago Mosaic School. Since it was founded in early 2005, it has become the center of education for Mosaic Arts in the United States.

As the first non-profit school of its kind, CMS provides opportunity for study with an academic, materially-oriented approach to art education in the World Master tradition. Now in its 10th year, this school gives artists, teachers, and enthusiasts a place to explore all facets of mosaics- from classical reproduction to contemporary abstraction. CMS has hosted some of the world’s most influential mosaic instructors; they have come to CMS from as far as Italy, England, France, Japan and Australia. The influence of the new generation of mosaic artists is beginning to be seen around the world through the recognition of the work of our students. We are fortunate to have CMS as one of our partners in the Protégé Internship Program.

Our students will learn the basic techniques, tools and materials involved in creating mosaics. The class will cover cutting, proper adhesives, substrates, design/layout, wide variety of materials like sheet glass (stained glass) and smalt as well as the craft of grouting.

Transportation to and from Chicago Mosaic School will not be provided. Students are expected to get to and from CMS on their own. CMS is located at 1809 W. Cuyler, Chicago, ½ mile northeast of St. Benedict Preparatory School campus.

Mary Jo Kent is the 6-12 Art Teacher at St. Benedict Preparatory School. This will be her third year teaching Art at St. Benedict and her students have won art awards through The Gallery 2506 Student Art Show, Inside Publications Skyline Newspaper and The Lemont Loves the Arts Show. Mrs. Kent graduated with a B.S. in Art Education from Northern Illinois University and she took additional coursework at The American Academy of Art. She has experience teaching art at Maine West High School and St. Joseph High School. She has displayed her artwork at Gallery 37, The Des Plaines History Center and The Des Plaines Library and completed a commissioned mural for Alderman Maryann Smith.

Christine Zapf is a member of St. Benedict’s Theology Department.  She teaches middle and high school level Theology classes including Church History and Ecumenical Connections.  Mrs. Zapf received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, M.B.A. from Washington University and M.A. in Pastoral Studies and Religious Education from Loyola University.  She is an active member of her parish, Saints Faith, Hope and Charity where she has served as president of the Women’s Guild, catechetical team leader, member of the Religious Education Board and member of the Art and Environment Committee.  Her course work at Loyola University afforded her the opportunity to study in Rome and experience the monumental 12th century mosaic in the apse of the Church of San Clemente as well as many mosaics in the ancient necropolis beneath St. Peter’s Basilica.


AGORA 2015-2016 Catalog

AGORA Registration (Grades 9-12)