Vita-Nova Studios makes a very big impact with a lot of tiny tile


I remember, very vividly, being completely blown away by my courses in Western Civilization.  I would like to say it was for purely academic reasons that I sat in the dimly lit lecture hall totally attentive—but it was more for the incredible slides of crumbling ruins and in particular, the mosaics.  I would lament that such intricate art was totally lost today, an unfortunate opinion I held onto for many years. 

But now, I have proof that mind-blowing, ‘how do they do it?’ pieces of art and design are definitely not lost. Enter Vita-Nova Studios where Principals Rick Skalak and Rodger Gariano design very large, very intricate and extremely incredible mosaics for hotels, restaurants, public spaces, people’s homes and everywhere in between. 


Skalak studied architecture, fine arts and interior design for an education that is perfectly fitting for the work he now does.  The custom pieces are at once art and design, incorporating visual imagery and craft into the world around us.  The highly saturated, glass mosaic for a client’s pool in Palos Verdes is a reflection of the client’s artistic taste. The design could easily be an incredible tattoo, but it comes to life when applied at larger than life scale.


Projects like this take months to design and execute.  After the line work is completed the designers decide how and where to lay in color—much like, as Skalak points out, ‘A paint by numbers.’


As testament to the company’s versatility, this design, which resides above a client’s pool and measures 80 feet, uses a mixture of stone and glass in muted tones, to create a piece that is stunning and timeless.




It feels good to know that this combination of intricacy, craft, fine art and design is still alive and well in the 21st century and is being executed in a fresh way that suits the tastes and lifestyles of those who are lucky enough to call in a commission.



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