Magic Gardens  Philadelphia., Pa. Community mosaic workshop taught by Isaiah Zagar

 Stephanie Beta Murphy

I am a graduate of Cedar Crest College with a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing.  I reluctantly terminated my career as a critical care nurse to care for my autistic son. I have always been very good at looking at something, and figuring out how it was made. My Mom, Gloria Beta, taught me how to sew when I was pregnant with my third child. I made clothing, Halloween costumes, curtains and baby quilts.  Thirteen years ago, i wanted to tile my kitchen backsplash.  Finding Home Depot classes unappealing, I enrolled in mosaic classes taught by Gina Hubler.  I have traveled to Orsoni in Venice, Italy in 2007 and 2008, completing two master of mosaic classes taught by Antonella Galenda.  I began experimenting with fused glass after participating in a class taught by Martin Cheek who is one of the first mosaic artists to incorporate glass fusions into his mosaic art.  I currently attend glass fusing classes with Roy Gruver at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I create my own tesserae from glass melted in my kiln.  I have also taken mosaic classes with Carol Shelkin, Rachel Sager, and Laura Rendlin.

I am member of SAMA ( The Society of american Mosaic Artists), CMA (Contemporary Mosaic Artists) and MSOP ( Mosaic society of Philadelphia).

I continue to keep my nursing license current though my continuing education credits are focused on alternative health modalities, mental health and autistic spectrum disorders.

 My husband Dennis is a retired mechanical engineer and my technical advisor. Without his undying support and encouragement, none of my mosaic art would be possible. I live with Dennis, my 3 grown children, and two dogs in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania.

 Mosaic Art is my true vocation. The actual creation of the art  is very meditative, similar to prayer.  Working with my hands quiets my mind.  Constructing mosaics is a coping mechanism I use to deal with the never-ending stress of parenting an autistic individual. The mosaic is a giant jigsaw puzzle, only the pieces are created by the artist.   I think in pieces, putting a bit of my soul into each piece. 

I believe that Inspiration comes from the Divine directly influencing the soul.