Gila Rayberg arrived at the visual arts after a successful career as a freelance musician and educator. After earning her master's degree in music from Arizona State University in 1989, Gila moved to San Francisco and quickly became involved with a community of improvisational musicians, composers and artists. Her love of travel led to a life of performing and teaching instrumental music at a newly established University in Borneo, East Malaysia. From there, she traveled extensively throughout South East Asia, collecting art, textiles, and musical instruments, representative of local cultures. With each excursion, Gila became increasingly fascinated by indigenous art.
On returning to the United States, Gila landed in New Orleans, spending her first year practicing jazz standards on the street for tips. She then joined the horn section of Deacon John & the Ivories, which kept her gigging steadily until hurricane Katrina changed everything in 2005. At that point, while evacuated, Gila turned her focus to creating mosaics full time. Soon after switching to visual arts, Gila became active with an international online group, “Julia Kay’s Portrait Party.” The series this group inspired has now grown to 69 mosaics, and hundreds of works on paper.
In the summer of 2018, Gila was one of nine artists from seven countries invited to the third Contemporary Mosaic Art Symposium in Sardinia, Italy, to create a substantial work in a renovated 15th-century convent & planned site of a Museum of Contemporary Mosaic Art. Gila embraced the isolation of Covid as an opportunity to spend quality time in her studio, having plenty of time to experiment with new ideas and techniques.