Kim Emerson

Kim Emerson


Kim Emerson has been designing and creating mosaics full-time for private and public spaces since 1991 in San Diego, California, USA. In education, her Bachelor of Arts degree was in Art History, and her Master of Science degree was in Historic Preservation of Architecture.

She worked in various areas of both these fields prior to establishing her own business, Kim Emerson Mosaics, LLC. She has built her career making mosaics for large public art projects, residential commissions, and her own smaller gallery works. Her projects involve working with city and county municipalities, non-profit organizations, community groups, contractors, educators, galleries and museums. Alongside her husband Dennis Reiter, together they established the San Diego Mosaic School in 2015 where they teach mosaics as a fine art.  

Kim states: ”For me, expression as an artist comes through the medium and ancient language of mosaic art, whether it is functional or purely aesthetic. I mindfully cut, arrange, and set geometric “tesserae” of glass, ceramic tile, natural stone, and/or in combination with found objects. I assemble patterns of tesserae in a way that creates something representational or abstract but specifically designed to be in harmony with its surrounding environment, community, or my thoughts of imagination. Mosaics are like permanent paintings that reflect light and shadows through texture, depth, and color. I strive to create my mosaics as fine art with an emotional connection that tells a story beyond what is found in the selection of materials, adhesives, and substrate.”

PRESENTATION: ‘Evolution & Practice’

This year of 2021 marks Kim Emerson’s 30th year of supporting herself full-time as a professional mosaic artist.  Her journey began when she worked for a historic preservation architect in San Diego, California, USA.  As a volunteer, Kim started installing mosaics while helping build a school in Tijuana, Mexico – located just 30 minutes south of where she still lives today.  She was mentored by internationally acclaimed artist James Hubbell, and she still is profoundly inspired by the life and spirit of Niki de Saint Phalle.  Kim is mostly known for her large-scale mosaic installations.  Through these three decades, she has developed her own style and techniques drawing from and utilizing her experience and her education in fine art, art history, interior design, and the historic preservation of architecture. She is a self-taught mosaicist utilizing every type of viable material, tool, and method that she can get her hands on.  In this presentation, Kim will share her mosaic story and about her practice of how she brings her projects to fruition from start to finish.