I am so, so, so EXCITED to introduce you to this week’s Smarty Mom, Teresa Hollmeyer. I first met Teresa on the first day of Jack & Christopher’s Preschool. She is one of the teacher’s in the twin’s classroom. She was very kind and patient with the boys (it was their first day EVER going to school). I knew instantly there was something very special about her. It was during that meeting that she said the words that forever connected us… I am a mother to twin boys. The more I got to know Teresa, I learned that she was an artist. Well, I have to tell you, she is one of the most AMAZING mosaic artists I have ever met. She uses thousands of tiny pieces of fragmented glass, meticulously places them in a pattern to create an image. When placed in a window the image becomes animated by the changing light. Patterns and designs reflect across the room inviting your eyes to follow them. It is a beautiful experience!
I just don’t know how she manages being an artist, teaching kids and being a mother to three boys. In my eyes, she is a super hero!
Smarty Mom: Teresa Hollmeyer
Children: Dylan 22, Adams 8 & Henry 8
Years in Charlotte: 8 years
Originally from: Concord, NC
Occupation: Artist/Preschool Teacher
What went through your head when you found out you were having twins?
It may sound odd but I had a dream the night before my ultrasound that we were having twin boys, so when my doctor said that there was a special surprise in there I really wasn’t that shocked. My husband on the other hand took a few weeks to soak it in! My sister had twin girls and did not know until she delivered, so I felt very fortunate to have had months to prepare for their arrival.
How do you manage your work as an artist, teaching preschool and be a mom to three boys?
Time management, what’s that? I really have two speeds, 100 mph and dead in the water! I work best under pressure and have always been that way. When I have a deadline approaching with my art, whether trying to get a piece ready to enter a show or trying to stock pile for one of my outdoor art shows that I do, I get up very early in the morning and get a few hours in my studio before I get the boys up for school. I also enjoy coming home from preschool and going staring to my studio to work before they get home from school.
At what age did you know you were an artist?
Do you think your boys have your artistic talent?
All 3 of my boys are very talented and enjoy expressing themselves through art. Adams in particular expresses interest in mosaics. Dylan is an excellent drawer and Henry really enjoys drawing and building sculptors from found objects.
How did you become a mosaic artist? What inspired you?
I was inspired after seeing a piece of public art being installed while traveling, it was a huge mosaic piece made from found objects. That was pre internet so I went to my local library and got all the books I could find on the art of mosaics. I started out making garden friendly mosaics on concrete forms. I was gifted some stained glass scraps from a friend and had a stack of old window sashes that I had planned to build a greenhouse with. One day while in my garden I had a thought of somehow applying the stained glass to the glass in the window sashes to create a glass on glass mosaic window hanging. It took about a year of trying many different products before I found something that worked and I have been creating glass on glass mosaics for close to 20 years now. I am completely self-taught and now enjoy teaching this technique to others.
Is your art currently in any galleries?
I am a Member Artist at Ciel Gallery in SouthEnd. Ciel is an art collective that I helped start a few years ago. The gallery is a collective of 30 local artists and hosts many workshops in all areas of art. My work is always represented in the gallery and this is also where I teach. I also show my work at outdoor art shows 5 or 6 times a year. I love doing Art in the Park in Blowing Rock and Inman Park Festival in Atlanta. I also show twice a year with the Charlotte Art Collective at their spring and fall show.
Describe your all-time favorite work of art that you created.
If I had to pick a favorite piece of mine, it would be two of my earlier pieces which hang in my kitchen. One is a chicken sitting on her nest which I incorporated one of my Grandmother’s earrings into and the other is a chicken that I used an old cabinet door as my substrate. My favorite images to create are inspired by nature but I also LOVE to create more “folk art” pieces like these.
What is your favorite color and why?
My favorite color is green; it just makes me happy.
Do you have any upcoming art shows?
I hosted a Holiday Art Show in my home on December 4. This is the fifth year I have done this and my friends and neighbors really look forward to this show. I invite 2 or 3 other artists to show with me and we put out food and wine for our guests to enjoy while they shop for hand created gift items. I also am working on a piece to enter into a juried show at Ciel Gallery for January, “My Life as a Dog”. The show will be up for the month of January and will feature dog art to benefit a local dog charity.
What is your favorite thing to do with your family in Charlotte?
Our family is always on the go it seems. Between baseball, basketball and swim team we really don’t get too many free Saturdays to explore Charlotte. When we do get a Saturday off we usually travel to my parent’s farm in Wilkes County for the day or just stay in our neighborhood to ride bikes or play tennis.
What is the last thing you cooked for your family?
This time of year my family loves for me to cook breakfast for dinner, we had it just last night. I make sausage rolls, cheese grits and pancakes. The following is the recipe for sausage rolls, you can make these ahead of time and keep them in your freezer.
1 roll of crescent rolls
1 lb of sausage, cooked
1 package of cream cheese
Cook sausage and mix with cream cheese. Unroll the entire package of crescent rolls onto a piece of wax paper to make a rectangle, spread the sausage mixture over the crescent rolls. Starting with the long side of the rectangle, roll the crescent rolls up end to end. Wrap in wax paper and put in the freezer for at least one hour to become firm. Remove from freezer and slice, should get 12 slices. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. My kids LOVE these!
What is the last movie/book you watched/read?
Unfortunately, I do not get much time to read or watch movies. I do however have an addiction to Netflix in my studio as I work.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My favorite holiday tradition is putting up the Christmas lights at my house. We love to go all out with colorful lights all over the house. Several years past, we made huge hanging Christmas balls for our Oak Tree out front. I think we have 8 or 9 now that we hang. I love coming to the top of the hill in our neighborhood at night and seeing our house glow in Christmas cheer.