Miller Theatre Unveils New Mural from Harlem-Based Artist Tomo Mori

Harlem-based visual artist Tomo Mori will transform the Miller Theatre lobby into an immersive work surrounding viewers with a sponge-stamped waterfall of images, based on her cut and painted mosaic process.

Entitled Concerto Encircling, multi-color impressions will cover deep blue walls, while cut transparent vinyl pieces will continue the imagery across the lobby's glass doors. In contrast to the ultramarine northern lobby, Mori will create what she calls "Sakura Sanctuary" on the southern wall, evoking the delicate falling petals of cherry blossom trees.

Tomo Mori considers Concerto Encircling "a journey through memory in time. It comes full circle and goes round and round. Aggregates of small bits of colors create oblique, flowing forms similar to those found in nature, like waterfalls and trees, which are then filtered and disseminated through digital media." Wallach Art Gallery Director and Chief Curator, Deborah Cullen, notes: "This is a moment to celebrate Mori's unique work. Her labor-intensive, mosaic-like process reminds us that tessellation exists in both nature's honeycombs as well as the digital realm."

Concerto Encircling will be unveiled in the Miller Theatre lobby today, September 13, 2016 at a reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m., open to the public. The opening event will include a brief Creative Conversation with the artist, co-sponsored by the University's Arts Initiative.

This exhibit marks the fourth annual collaboration between Columbia's two major artistic presenting spaces, The Wallach Art Gallery and Miller Theatre. Mori's mural succeeds Scherezade Garcia's swirling, flowing In Transit/Liquid Highway that adorned the walls last season, and before that murals by Maya Hayuk and Vargas-Suarez Universal. Mori's immersive large-scale work will be displayed throughout the 2016-17 season, greeting thousands of concertgoers as they arrive for performances over the course of the year.

Located on Broadway at 116th Street, the Miller Theatre lobby is open to the public Mondaythrough Friday, from 10am to 6pm, and beginning two hours before each scheduled performance.

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "The transformation of the Miller Theatre lobby has been a highlight of the last three seasons, as we've commissioned visual artists to use the lobby walls as their canvas. Each year has yielded a dramatically different creation, and each has been perfect for the space. This summer, Tomo Mori creates our fourth installation, Concerto Encircling, inspired by the layered, cyclical nature of memory and music. I'm so excited to watch her vision take shape and for our audiences to enjoy her work all season long."

About Tomo Mori ( - Tomo Mori was born in the countryside of Osaka, Japan. She studied painting and drawing at Tokyo Metropolitan High School for Art, and graduated from Atlanta College of Art with a BFA. She spent 11 years in the CNN newsroom as an editorial design staffer after graduating from college in 1995. From the experience of being exposed to news reports of ongoing conflicts on a daily basis, she began to seek harmonious beauty of co-existence in her own artwork. Tomo also experienced life in the Caribbean, Latin America, and West Africa. She lives and works in Harlem, and is known for her unique, mosaic-like process.

Mori's work has been exhibited in New York City, Miami, Atlanta, Michigan, Switzerland, and Tokyo. Mori has a forthcoming 2017 public art work The Wheels on the Bus, commissioned by MTA Arts & Design at the Manhattanville Bus Depot on West 132ndStreet. She was also selected as the New York metro area regional finalist for Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series contest with Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and exhibited her winning piece "Memory Ring" at SCOPE Miami Beach 2014.

Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery ( - The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery advances Columbia University's historical, critical, and creative engagement with the visual arts. Serving as both a laboratory and forum, The Wallach Art Gallery offers opportunities for curatorial practice and discourse while bridging the diverse approaches to the arts at the University with a broader public. Established in 1986, The Wallach Art Gallery is Columbia University's premier visual arts space. The gallery is a platform for critically acclaimed exhibitions, a dynamic range of programming, and publications that have made lasting contributions to scholarship.

Miller Theatre at Columbia University ( - Miller Theatre at Columbia University is the leading presenter of new music in New York City and one of the most vital forces nationwide for innovative programming. In partnership with Columbia University School of the Arts, Miller is dedicated to producing and presenting unique events in dance, contemporary and early music, jazz, opera, and performance. Founded in 1988 with funding from John Goelet, Brooke Astor, and the Kathryn Bache Miller Fund, Miller Theatre has built a reputation for attracting new and diverse audiences to the performing arts and expanding public knowledge of contemporary music.

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