Linda Allen’s work as a mosaic artist began unexpectedly in 1994 when she was invited to create a mural for the exterior entrance of Mayo Demonstration School. Wanting a more permanent solution than paint, Allen came up with the idea of creating a 20’ x 40’ mosaic.
Her proposal energized the entire school community: all the supplies were donated, all the work was done by volunteer parents and teachers working under Allen’s direction. The completed mosaic mural was enthusiastically received and Allen was honored by the governor of Oklahoma for her work on the project.
This “labor of love” also opened a new career avenue as she turned her interest from clay work to mosaic art installations. Over the past 12 years, she has carried out numerous commissions from architects, designers and private clients, ranging from small domestic designs to monumentally scaled public murals, including both exterior and interior work. Materials include glass, tesserae, tile, stone, marble, and even metal and wood. The materials as well as the design are selected and conceived to be an integrated part of the architecture and surroundings. Often the imagery is narrative to represent a theme or message but the medium lends itself to abstract design as well.
“I like the work to feel it is part of the building and with my work it literally is,” says Allen of her mosaics. “Mosaic has a strength and permanence that can sometimes feel like an ancient ruin. It can add direction, color, and flow to a space. It brings texture as well as color and form to the surroundings.”
Linda Allen received her master’s degree from the University of Tulsa with a concentration in ceramics. She continues to paint and work in clay in addition to her architectural mosaic work and maintains her studio in Tulsa.