Large Variation: Blue, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Sam Houston State University - CODAworx

Large Variation: Blue, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Sam Houston State University

Submitted by Amy Ellingson

Client: Sam Houston State University

Location: Conroe, TX, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $300,000

Project Team


Mosaika Art & Design


Sam Houston State University


Large Variation: Blue is designed to optimize the grand atrium lobby space, connecting the structural levels of the building, as well as bringing a sense of color and light from outdoors to indoors. The sweeping vertical gestural forms accentuate the verticality of the lobby, implying symbolic associations such as intellectual openness, expansive thought and the columnar nature of teaching/learning and the process of passing on and refining knowledge. Abstraction has a unique capacity to activate viewers’ own associations, overcoming language and cultural barriers, and in doing so, creates a unique connection between the artwork and the space it is in. For faculty, staff and students, the mural serves as an immersive visual environment that invites them again and again to find something new.


Compositional structure is extremely important to my work. Large Variation: Blue has a lot of movement and places for the eye to travel, yet a sense of structure and grounding. The gradient background lends a sense of weight at the bottom of the piece. Symmetrical elements establish a sense of order, bringing the eye back to the center of the piece. I have used repetition, connection and pattern to create an ordered composition, while including elements that allow the eye, and mind, to move freely.


I believe in using materials and media that demonstrate transparency of process. How a piece is made is an essential part of its character. There is an immediacy and honesty in showing process and material in a direct and accessible way. In my studio work as well as my public art, I use historic, traditional materials and processes which are discernible, as well as durable, permanent and lightfast. Ceramic mosaic is traditional and durable. The custom-glazed, hand-cut tiles simultaneously fracture and unify the imagery, and create a faceted, animated surface that catches light and movement.