Chipeta-Mai ~ A Handcrafted Glass Mosaic Matryoshka Sculpture

This collaborative outdoor sculpture created by artist team Kasia Polkowska and Kyle Cunniff will be displayed for the year starting on June 14, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Chipeta-Mai, a stained glass mosaic sculpture, 48"x24", 2018 by Kasia Polkowska and Kyle Cunniff (photographed in the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado)

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Artist Statement: Chipeta-Mai is a cross-cultural matryoshka doll. Historically, the first Matryoshka Doll was made in Russia and has since become a symbol in Eastern European Culture where Kasia was born. This doll was sculpted by hand by Kyle who worked to inspire the nostalgia one often feels when laying eyes on the form of a nesting doll. The doll is adorned in a bright, colorful, hand cut stained glass mosaic pattern created by Kasia. To give her a sense of place, she was named to honor the people who's ancestral land we inhabit, focusing on Colorado where the artist team lives. Chipeta was a famous Ute woman known for diplomacy while Mai (Navajo for bright flower) was added to the end of her name for the flower she bears on her belly as many traditional matryoshkas do. The warm southwestern colors of the doll further reflect the state where she was realized. The bright orange that wraps around her belly mirrors the sedimentary beds of deep-red and pink sandstone seen jutting out of the soil along the front range of Colorado. Her headscarf was inspired by the bright blue sky that's so often filled with sunshine and hangs high above the mountains. This doll is a modern artifact emulating the artists' interest in the landscape they inhabit as well as the people that roamed that land long before them.

Trouvaille - A Stained Glass Mosaic Sculpture

Trouvaille has been accepted into the 2018 Alamosa Artscape Public Art Program. It will be installed in the beginning of September and will be on display for a year. 

Trouvaille, a stained glass mosaic sculpture, 84" x 22", 2018 ~SOLD
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Going back to childhood, many people may recall the excitement of finding a feather on the ground. It was a magical moment and it seemed that the feather was a gift from above. People may not realize but various cultures around the world also believed that feathers had a connection to the heavens. Some believed that they carried messages from the gods. Stumbling upon a feather is believed to be a good omen, a sign that you are on the right path. It is a message to soar above where you are spiritually and to look at the world from a higher perspective. This mosaic feather was created with that in-mind, to be a good omen for the passerby's. It aims to be an uplifting landmark and to delight visitors and residents a like, to provide a sensory experience of whimsical patterns, a warm welcoming color palette and a spiritual connection to its location.

The Installation of a Community Mosaic Mural Project

Kyle and I with the installed mural!
At the end of June 2017 we installed the first Kasia Mosaics community mural project in Alamosa, Colorado. I created the design and the color scheme for the pattern while my partner Kyle did the engineering drawings for the installation as well as the steal frame.  

We had 36 volunteers come to our studio to learn how to use basic tools to shape glass and how to arrange it into a pattern at no cost to them.  I precut all the glass for the volunteers to work with and they each got to build a section of the mural with my help and guidance.  In total there were 93 sections that made up the finished design.  

In addition to the volunteers, Kyle and I got to create many of the sections of the project.  Once all the pieces were ready, Kyle and I glued them on the the custom substrate Kyle built.  Then we grouted and installed it into the steal frame and finally onto the building.  Take a look our full project photo album on Facebook: Community Mural Project

We also organized a successful Indiegogo Campaign to help us raise funds for the material cost for the mural.  Check it out here: Help Us Beautify Our Town With a Community Mural  To cover the remainder cost of materials, a grant from the Colorado Creative Industries was given to us by Jeff Owsley from Alamosa Small Business Development. We were also featured in the local paper. To read the full article, click Community Comes Together to Construct a Mural

See the blog post about the making of the mural:
See the blog post about the installation of this project:

Johona-Mai Sculpture Installation

Johona Mai, a collaborative sculpture I created with artist Kyle Cunniff was chosen to be among the 17 sculptures to be part of Alamos's First Artscape Program.  To see all the other sculptures, visit the City of Alamosa website here:   On June 2, 2017 Johona Mai was installed on Main Street in Alamosa, Colorado.  To see the blog post with photos of the installation go to this link:

John Mai, all set to spend her first evening away from home! 

Read the article about Alamos's first Artscape here:  Kyle and I were speakers at the event.

Johona Mai - A Glass Mosaic Matryoshka

Johona-Mai, Navajo for Sunny Bright Flower was named to honor the Navajo Nation who's ancestral land we inhabit. She was created in Alamosa, Colorado - the land of 'Cool Sunshine'. To reflect our region, we incorporated Southwestern colors, focusing on the bright blue of our big, clear sky and the warm yellow of the ever present sunshine in the San Luis Valley.

Johona Mai, stained glass mosaic sculpture, 4ft tall by 22"wide/deep, 2017  by Kasia Polkowska and Kyle Cunniff  
Johona-Mai was sculpted by hand and is adorned in a modern, colorful, hand cut stained glass mosaic pattern. Her form originates from Russia, where the first Matryoshka Doll was made and has since become a symbol in Eastern European Culture where Kasia was born.  Today the doll has a place in contemporary pop culture around the world. The form of our doll was kept traditional to inspire the nostalgia one often feels when laying eyes on a nesting doll.  The decorative motif highlights the purity of the form with color, pattern and the innocence of a flower often present on traditional dolls but with a contemporary flair.

To see more photos from the Mount Blanca Photo Shoot, go here: