Mary Cuda with her mosaic Krill. Photo courtesy Sally Hedberg

On Wednesday, June 26 at 10:30 a.m. at the Idyllwild Library, artist Mary Cuda will present seven of her Keystone Species mosaics. She will demonstrate how she creates her mosaics by working on her eighth species, the salmon. When asked, “What is meant by Keystone Species,” Mary replied, “They are the species on which our ecosystem depends and if removed would drastically change our planet.”
Cuda has studied art and was a painter for many years. Then one day she read an article about mosaics in an art magazine. She already had a foundation in art so she began researching how to create mosaics.
First, she did the traditional straight-line tiles but then decided to experiment and incorporated glass as well as 24k gold tiles. Her large pieces have consisted mainly of animals, so it was a natural transition to creating the Keystone Species. Again, Cuda discovered the importance of the Keystone Species after reading an article and decided through her art she wanted to bring awareness to others. Cuda emphatically states, “Climate change is happening at an exponential rate, and it is dramatically important we are all aware of this.”
An example is her Krill mosaic. This tiny animal is found in all the world’s oceans and is considered a Keystone Species because it feeds many of the larger animals. With the warming of the oceans and the melting of the glaciers many key animals are in danger. Cuda hopes to be an ambassador for climate change through her art.
This free event is part of the Idyllwild Library STEAM programs and is appropriate for all ages. Each participant will have the opportunity to make a paper mosaic.