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Joan Moment

"A Fragment of the Universe"


Moment artwork concept  Moment artwork concept


Moment’s 18’ x 12’ mosaic floor in the airport’s transfer level depicts an imaginary world of water and air that is engaging, uplifting, and serves as an easy meeting place or directional marker for air travelers. Titled, A Fragment of the Universe, the artwork accomplishes this by connecting circular forms that evoke the night sky, outer space, the surface of water and the playful interaction of crop circles and planetary forms. These forms are at once macrocosmic and microscopic, and include other natural elements in transitory states, such as bubbles on the surface of water.

In researching cosmic phenomena, the artist discovered that young stars are held in a “nursery” composed of gases and dust particles which remain in that state until the stars are ready to burst out into interstellar space. The circles that are linked together in this mosaic represent that condition. In various parts of the painting, droplets of color reflect the actual colors of stars as they age, ranging from pale blue and yellowish-green to orange and red—red being the color of a star at its final stage of existence. 

The artwork is made of glass tessera, a technique that has been used for hundreds of years on walls and floors dating back to the Byzantine era. It is fabricated to the specifications of the artist and in specific colors, ranging, in this case, from highly saturated hues (e.g. lapis lazuli and cobalt blue) to paler shades of magenta, yellow, green, orange, and white.


Moment artwork in progress  Moment artwork in progress

Joan Moment’s design for a glass mosaic floor has been installed in the transfer level of the airport. It was fabricated by Franz Mayer of Munich, Germany. These images show the work when it was approximately 25% complete.

Moment artwork in progress  Moment artwork in progress

Moment selected the fabricators based on their expertise and excellence in crafting mosaic artworks. She worked for months with the fabricator before finalizing the design and selecting the glass mosaic colors and continued to work closely with the team from Germany through the installation of the artwork.

Moment artwork in progress  Moment artwork in progress

Installers from Franz Mayer of Munich set the glass tessara pieces into place.


Moment artwork completed  Moment artwork completed


Over her forty-plus-year career, Joan Moment’s painting process has consistently evolved. Recently, she has forgone the brush in favor of the “imprint” method—using objects to press paint onto surfaces. She has shown extensively across the United States in both solo and group exhibitions and her work is included in the collections of the Oakland Museum; The Crocker Art Museum; and The Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, Ohio; to name a few. Moment holds a BS from The University of Connecticut and an MFA from The University of Colorado. She has taught at California State University, Sacramento and The University of Colorado, Boulder and remains active as a Visiting Artist and Lecturer at several institutions.


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