Edgeville Buzz

The Only Mosaic School In US Gets Ready To Open Doors To New Edgewater Home

After a long wait and construction set backs, Edgewter not-for-profit organization the Chicago Mosaic school (CMS) at 1127 W. Granville in North Edgewater is planning the opening celebration to their new 9,000 sq. ft. space.

It is the dream property that CMS’s (the only school of its kind in the United States.) Executive Director Karen Ami was hoping for. They will occupy the 5,000 sq ft first floor, 3,000 sq ft on the second floor and about 1000 sq ft in the basement in a newly constructed four-story complex that is owned by local landlords Bob and Rae Ann Cecrle. The new storefront will give the school much more foot traffic and needed exposure.

“We have waited a long time,” said Ami. “We were happy in Ravenswood for about 12 years but were quickly outgrowing our space. When our building was sold, friends wanted us to move to Edgewater. They put me in touch with Alderman Harry Osterman and he showed me around Edgewater and introduced my to Rae Ann Cecrle. And that is how we came into the building.”

Since opening their doors in 2005 in the Ravenswood area, the school began needing a larger space to expand their growing operations. Their new school will include class rooms, a gallery for contemporary mosaics, a cooperative artist studio with 11 spaces, offices, a gathering space and Tiny Pieces Mosaic Supply Shop which carries mosaic and art supplies. They plan to offer over 80 classes and workshops at the new space that teach an array of skills.

Artists work in the new space

The school currently has 17 professionally trained year-round and adjunct faculty that give students a world-class education. Many of the world’s most influential contemporary mosaicists from Italy, England, Scotland, France, Japan and Australia teach exclusively at CMS. The school attracts students from all around the world.

“I love Edgewater, this is our dream neighborhood,” Ami added. “We are not only near the el, we have great foot traffic and the people are incredibly open and friendly. It is a mix of Chicago that makes us want to be urban dwellers. It has everything here with a variety of people, food, cultures, musicians and artists.”

The school has already started classes at the new address and they are hoping to move into their offices by July 1. The storefront gallery space will be open in time for a July 13 soft-opening that is open to the public and will showcase their first art exhibition. On September 14 they are planning their big grand re-opening.

Currently CMS is offering 10% off all classes to help celebrate the opening.  For more information on the school or to register for classes, click here.


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