Linda Vaden-Martin, OTR/L, Mosaic Artist
"I believe we are creative beings by nature, and to create is therapeutic for our soul." Linda Vaden-Martin
My earliest memory of having the creative urge was when I was four years old. I discovered a can of white paint and a paintbrush in my Aunt's garage. Something exploded inside of me. I remember thinking if I only painted things that were already white, no one would notice. I started simple and painted on the wall, advanced to the concrete, and the grand finale was painting my Aunt's white Cadillac, including the white wall tires! Yes, I got in lots and lots of trouble. But that didn't stop my need to create. Over the years I dabbled in many mediums, however, it wasn't until I stumbled onto the art of mosaics that something crossed over inside of me.
I pursued my mosaic studies at the Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland, California under several esteemed mosaic artists including Laurel True, Ellen Blakeley, Delaine Hackney, Myles Blackwood, and Laurel Skye. I've also studied from Carol Shelkin, Gary Drostle, Martin Cheek, and Maestro Giulio Menossi. I believe that the variety of these styles are reflected in my artwork. I love transforming salvaged objects into sustainable works of art. I utilize a range of covering materials including stained glass, tempered glass, plate glass, mirror, ceramic tiles, millefiori, vitreous and iridescent glass, crockery, beads, clay, and anything else that fits my creative need to express.
As an occupational therapist...
My formal education includes a BS degree in Occupational Therapy (OT). Working with people of all ages and in various treatment settings, this therapy is based on the belief that purposeful activity (occupation) enriches lives, and will mediate functional limitation of physical or psychological origin. OT is steeped in the belief of a holistic view of healing, including body, mind, and spirit, life roles, and the environment in which we live. In addition, a basic occupational therapy premise is that humans require creative, productive, and playful pursuits, and flourish by engaging in them (Kielhofner, G; Conceptual Foundations of Occupational Therapy, second ed, 1997, F.A. Davis Co, Philadelphia).
My experience with patient care includes:
- motor control and performance impaired by stroke, traumatic brain injury, neurological, or orthopedic conditions
- occupational challenges brought on by aging
- sensory impairment
- achieving access to home, community and workplace
- facilitating psychosocial adjustment to disability
- participation in leisure-time activities
- hospital, skilled nursing, rehab, home health, early intervention, and out patient facilities
Bringing the two together...
I am in an extraordinary position to combine my talents and skills with what I call Therapeutic Mosaics. One of my goals is to facilitate group and community projects that will enrich the lives of those experiencing life challenges, bring community together, and garnish our environment with the beauty of mosaics. My vision is to work with groups of people and their loved ones who have been challenged by devastating illness. I vision a community filled with murals not only to beautify, but to act as an anchor reminding us of what's truly important, each other.
I feel mosaics can be likened to life. What may appear to be broken and discarded can be rearranged and transformed into something spectacularly beautiful. In mosaics, as in life, we have many choices to choose from and can easily be overwhelmed. However it isn't until one actually begins to pick the pieces up do we find how easily they fit together. And if they don't, well, that's what we have tools for!
American Occupational Therapy Association