The biggest mosaic museum in the world, Gaziantep province's Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards-winning Zeugma Mosaic Museum, offers classes on creating mosaics with the support of the Metropolitan Municipality in a joint effort to preserve the centuries-old technique for generations to come.
The center mostly attracts students in the field of fine arts interested in ancient techniques related to mosaic production. "The Gypsy Girl" mosaic, which has become the symbol of Zeugma, and other ancient examples offer inspiration and guidance to the participants.
Jale Tekinalp Yücel Gaziantep Mosaics Cultural and Arts Center coordinator Gülçin Sökücü told Anadolu Agency (AA) that their courses are very popular and that the Zeugma museum has contributed to students' interest in the subject.
Noting visitors at the museum also stop by the center out of curiosity, Sökücü said: "Those who wonder how these mosaics were made, what processes they go through and how they have been preserved learn a lot here. To understand the process, basic knowledge of painting techniques is required because mosaics use the technique as well. Students learn how to use scissors, stone and glass along with other materials to create the artworks here. Once they master the technique, the integrity, materials and paint come together like a melody."
She also added that classes continue year-round and all students 16 and up can register for the courses. Courses for younger artists are available at different centers.
The coordinator believes the seeds of the future are spread at the center and said: "Our students from fine arts faculties usually come in the summer. We have 104 students now. They have received an extensive education about mosaics that cannot be found anywhere else in Turkey. There are some junior and senior students who will be academics in the future and spread the art of mosaics around Turkey. We aim to create fine artists. I hope we will reach our target."
'I was very impressed with Zeugma's museum'
Duygu Çiçek Yağcı, one of the course attendees, said she graduated in art design and continued with the museum's course for a year.
Discussing her previous knowledge of mosaics, Yağcı said: "The mosaics in Zeugma caught my attention. I feel happy when I'm creating this type of art. I would like to continue creating in this style and develop my skills further."
Asya Solmaz, another student in the program, said she graduated with a degree in art design and was so impressed by the Zeugma museum that she wants to improve her skills in this field in the future.