KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Visual Arts: Mosaics [R]
Commentary: 272 words
Editor’s Note: 529 words

Two Stained-Glass Mosaic Windows

by Victor Nunnally, Featured Artist


Journeyman 4, fine-art mosaic by Victor Nunnally
Journeyman #4
“A story told in glass and set in stone”
(30 inches tall by 34 inches wide)

Copyright © 2011-2014, by Victor Nunnally. All rights reserved.


The Nest, fine-art mosaic by Victor Nunnally
Detail from The Nest
(39 inches tall by 24 inches wide)

For enlarged view of entire mosaic window,
scroll down to second image in blog post, dated 7 August 2012.

Copyright © 2011-2014, by Victor Nunnally. All rights reserved.

Commentary by Victor Nunnally

Working with mosaics became my passion after I was asked to make a glass mosaic sign and painting for a glass-blowing facility on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands in 2004. I got the idea of creating Glass Top Mosaics when I realized how the light would shine through the glass, especially by candle flame at night. So I created a prototype table using broken stained glass and was proven right when the table glowed as a wavering flame flickered all the colors.

There is something about the Journeyman theme and subject that works so well with this art. I had produced a painting in my freshman year of high school for art class, randomly picking an image from a magazine, a man in a top hat riding a penny farthing in the mud. I did not think much of it when I submitted it to the teacher, but one morning I walked in to the front lobby of the school and on display in the marquee was my painting. My teacher said the principal voted it as his favorite painting and wanted it on display. Twenty years later I discovered the painting in my mother’s trunk. It was then, and after seeing a “high-wheeler” rolling through the Dickens Street Fair in Fayetteville, that I decided to produce a mosaic of the same image.

I turn something into a treasure and set it in stone. In a way I have become a Mason. The thought of creating a city wall mosaic that lights up or a stone wall in front of a beautiful home excites me. Imagine all the possibilities.

Editor’s Note by Clare MacQueen

After years of essentially ignoring stained-glass and mosaic arts, I was surprised recently to find them “on my radar.” And they continue to astonish with one thrilling perspective after another—which I cannot help but share by presenting Victor Nunnally’s work here. His vision fuses two arts, mosaic and stained-glass, and perhaps adds a third layer: masonry.

While appreciating the time and effort that goes into creating stained-glass art, I have never been a fan of the traditional style. Maybe it has something to do with the leadlines, the ugly gray soldering between the pieces of glass that distracts my eye. Oddly enough, those boundaries make me think of concrete, which in turn brings to mind landscape architecture: highly manicured campuses where plants are set apart a prescribed distance, lonely and isolated from their herbaceous cousins perched atop those ubiquitous mounds of bark mulch.

For me, the most beautiful gardens are crowded, lush, downright riotous with all sorts of foliage and blooming plants—including a few weeds, whose blossoms are often as gorgeous as those of cultivars. It is this type of unrestrained, exuberant garden I thought of when I first encountered one of Nunnally’s stunning visions in shards of stained glass and stone.

At the renowned Cameron Antique Fair on a warm day last spring, my sister and I were roaming one of the grassy lawns between buildings, where sellers and artisans had set up their booths, when a flash of light near ground level caught my attention.

Upon discovering its source, I experienced the clichéd reactions—jaw dropping, heart fluttering, eyeballs popping, breath catching—that a person feels when astounded by the utterly marvelous. And what had amazed me? Merely the sunlight, shining through a weathered window frame which leaned against a bookshelf in the grass. But the panes were remarkable, truly unlike anything I had ever seen. They literally glowed with agates sliced thin and inlaid marble halves and countless splinters of colored glass which depicted brilliant flowers and foliage.

So much color, so much movement, so much texture!

And with no gray leadlines to be seen. Holy mackerel, was this really stained glass? Yes, the proprietor assured me.

She was Trisha Johns, the artist’s gracious sister, who just happens to live and work in Fayetteville as I do. Thus, when her brother visited from out of town two months later, I was pleased to shake Victor Nunnally’s hand and to thank him face to face for creating art that has enlarged my perspective.

I hope his work resonates for you as well.

Of course, the photos above simply cannot do these pieces justice. They are best seen in person, which may be impractical for most folks. So the next best thing is the Nunnally Mosaics three-minute video tour.

Plus, I’ve compiled a list of links to several pieces featured at his website, including the Journeyman Series. In particular, I believe Glowing Wolves epitomizes the level of minute detail in Nunnally’s mosaic paintings: a testament to painstaking hours of cutting glass by hand into slivers and patiently arranging them in unexpected patterns—against the backdrop of old windows formerly destined for the trash.

Victor Nunnally
Issue 1, Fall 2014

An artist who sets glass into stone, Nunnally began painting with oils in 2000 and creating mosaics in 2004. He graduated with a BFA from the University of North Carolina in Dramatic and Art History, and attended San Francisco State University for two years studying the theory of film and production. His works have been on display in galleries on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI); in Sonoma, California; and in Asheville and Wilmington, North Carolina (NC). They are featured in a permanent gallery in Fayetteville, NC at The Promise, a primitive-arts shop owned and operated by his sister Trisha Johns.

Nunnally was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and was a Navy brat the first fourteen years of his life while moving with his family up and down the East Coast. His family retired from the military in 1982 to his mother’s home town of Drexel, NC. After he grew up, he traveled through Europe and spent much of his life living and working at an Eco Resort on the island of St. John (USVI). “Why not live simply in Paradise.”

You can keep up with the artist at: Green Man Mosaics.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Quick Tip: After clicking on individual links, scroll down below the giant tree to the dated blog entry and click on images for larger views.

Door Mosaic Lit Up at Night, full-length door created by Nunnally for a friend’s cottage (6 August 2008)

Glowing Wolves, with Blue Ridge Mountains as backdrop (20 August 2009)

Journeyman #5 (21 June 2014)

Journeyman #4 (12 March 2013)

Journeyman #3 (1 May 2012)

Journeyman #2 (17 January 2012)

Journeyman #1 (22 December 2011)

Nunnally Mosaics three-minute video tour (19 March 2010)

Slide Show, which intersperses images of Nunally’s mosaic works with his photographs (26 January 2012)

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