Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Joseph Kaftan was born in northern Wisconsin, to a newspaper photographer mother and a self-taught sculptor and mosaicist father. Joseph drew and painted as a child and later studied graphic design at The American University in Washington D.C.. He worked both as a freelancer and for advertising agencies, designing CD and book covers.

In 2006 he began his first mosaic, as a way to connect with his ailing father. He didn't finish his second mosaic until several years later, but in 2012 he began creating mosaics in earnest making them his primary creative focus. He works in two kinds of glass, cutting large sheets of stained glass or nipping little thick bricks of tradition Italian smalti glass.

Joseph spends as much time as he can where water meets land, teaching kayaking, snorkeling, kayak fishing, racing his surf-ski, or foraging shellfish. He's looking for the fundamental stories of the water, hoping to find the iconic in the everyday. It is these interactions with nature that excite him to make mosaics, and the desire for more subject matter inspires him into the outdoors again.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.