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Layering Stories One Tile at a Time with The Mosaic Workshop

Learn about how founders Carmen Rangel and J Muzacz are expanding accessible art spaces in Austin with free and low-cost weekly workshops

Mural of Roosevelt “Grey Ghost” Williams at Holly Commons. (Left to right) Carmen Rangel and J Muzacz, co-founders of The Mosaic Workshop. (Photo by Tony Moreno)
Mural of Roosevelt “Grey Ghost” Williams at Holly Commons. (Left to right) Carmen Rangel and J Muzacz, co-founders of The Mosaic Workshop. (Photo by Tony Moreno)

Step into the colorful realm of The Mosaic Workshop, a studio nestled in East Austin, where artistry and community converge. Founders Carmen Rangel and J Muzacz started the workshop out of a need for more accessible art spaces in Austin. With weekly free and low-cost mosaic classes and group projects, the studio has fostered a nurturing environment for creativity, camaraderie, and skill development.

“Through this collaborative process, some people found a new hobby or creative outlet, others made friends, and some developed expertise in a new medium which would open doors to bigger and better opportunities in the future,” shared Muzacz. 

Collaborations with local organizations like the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) and the Caminos program have resulted in artworks such as the La Mujer public mural outside of MACC, honoring Latina women like beloved singer Selena and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Their mosaic art series, the “Legends,” further amplifies underrepresented voices and stories through grassroots public art projects, with 37 portraits of cultural leaders completed to date. These projects, in collaboration with organizations like Latinitas, American Youthworks, Ghisallo Cycling and Texas Folklife, celebrate influential figures, particularly women and leaders of color, who have left a lasting impact on Austin and beyond.

Stepping stone mosaic at Something Cool Studios honors the work and legacy of living legend and community leader Susana Almanza, co-founder and director of PODER Austin (Photo by Tony Moreno)
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Stepping stone mosaic at Something Cool Studios honors the work and legacy of living legend and community leader Susana Almanza, co-founder and director of PODER Austin (Photo by Tony Moreno)

We All Ride Moasic Unveiling
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We All Ride mosaic unveiling at Travis County Civil and Family Courts Facility. (Photo by Tony Moreno)

Austin FC mural located at McKalla Station outside Q2 Stadium. (Photo by Cassie Butterfield)
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Austin FC mural located at McKalla Station outside Q2 Stadium. (Photo by Cassie Butterfield)

The Mosaic Workshop’s expanding influence in Austin

Their latest mural at CapMetro’s McKalla Station, stretching across 600 square feet, pays tribute to the passionate fans of Austin FC. Crafted from glass tiles meticulously placed by hundreds of volunteers, this mural stands as a testament to the remarkable power of community collaboration in creating something extraordinary for our city.

Since relocating to a new and expansive space at 729 Airport Blvd., The Mosaic Workshop offers beginners the chance to delve into foundational aspects like tile cutting, design layout, and grouting, in introductory classes. Meanwhile, advanced workshops introduce more intricate concepts, including color theory, composition, and the integration of mixed media into mosaic creations.

“I am thrilled to expand our workshop offerings, catering to people of all levels, ages and abilities,” said Muzacz. 

As The Mosaic Workshop expands its reach, it remains committed to fostering creativity, community, and meaningful storytelling. Through innovative projects and inclusive workshops, the studio continues to inspire individuals on their artistic journey, making mosaic art accessible to all. 

Learn more at themosaicworkshop.org.