The Future of Mosaics
We participate in one of the oldest, best preserved, and most storied art forms ever known. So, will its future be so long and appreciated? The unadulterated truth is – no one knows. But if you are passionate about mosaics, you can't help the curiosity. You look for clues that can give an idea. We did, and here's what we found.
Some signs are disappointing and some are encouraging.
Using Google Trends, a somewhat obscure tool that shows the history of searches on a topic, we checked some mosaic trends. They are presented as a percentage of the value on the start date. We chose 2004, which is the earliest date available. The query of "mosaic art" shows a disappointing trend. The chart below is for searches in the United States. The chart for Worldwide searches is almost identical.
It raises the troubling prospect that the general interest in mosaic art is declining.
Being mindful that the general search term can include the searches of people interested in buying art, students learning about it, travelers wanting to see it, and many other reasons we kept digging. For more insight into searches that might be indicative of people looking for an artist to commission or buy mosaic art from, we checked the trend on "mosaic artist." Again the USA and Worldwide trends are near identical. The US trend is presented.
The trend is still down but less sharply and more erratic.
The surprise came with the chart below that compares the search terms "mosaic art" and "how to mosaic".
It seems that more people are interested in making their own mosaics, and that is encouraging. We can hope that if more people make mosaics, more people will see them, become interested, and thereby - commission, buy, or make their own mosaics.
One possible inference is that mosaic teachers have opportunities to grow their classes, and maybe inspire passions from the embers of interest. Capturing the opportunities to teach are somewhat dependent on the marketing prowess that artists and teachers can apply.
Now that we know the trends from the past dozen years, do we wait on the future to reveal the meaning of the trends, or do we envision a future and make it?
The cover image includes mosaics done by Dixie Friend Gay at the Houston-Bush Intercontinental Airport