Client: Hotel Indigo Newark
Location: Newark, NJ, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $15,000
Students of GlassRoots
JB Art & Design
This amazing 8×10 glass mosaic was fabricated by the artists and students of GlassRoots – a non profit hot glass workshop in Newark that uses the fascination of glass to engage and teach underserved youth. The Hotel Indigo chose GlassRoots in order to support local artisans and community, and charged them with designing a major work of art that would become the lobby's focal point , and set the tone for the design of the entire hotel. The mosaic's image would reflect the hotel's theme – Thomas Edison, a symbol of the innovative, working class cuture of Newark.
GlassRoots artist, James Blake, and Julius Babilonia of JB Art & Design, the hotel's design team, needed an iconic Edison image and chose the Universal Stock Ticker, the first practical ticker tape, which Edison invented in 1869. It was the first to use alphanumeric characters, and, for 80 years, received the stock and commodity prices from the nation's leading exchanges. It symbolizes the strength of American business.
Once the subject of the mural was decided, GlassRoots artist-educator, James Blake, designed the actual image, working with the JB Art and Design to coordinate color and mood.The large mosaic was carefully hand-crafted by James and a team of talented students from GlassRoots programs. Its creation offered these students an incredible opportunity to work on a lasting work of art that is will become part of the fabric of the Newark community.
GlassRoots is a magical place that teaches all forms of glass arts to the community, and especially to Newark's underserved youth. The fire and danger of glass making attracts and engages GlassRoots students, but before they know it, through the fascination of glass and our unique programming, they have learned patience, teamwork, creative problem solving, chemistry, and physics and a host of other life, academic, and business skills.