Artist's mural to shine in downtown Binghamton
Local children can help create colored-glass mosaic
By George Basler
BINGHAMTON -- Susan Jablon hopes what she's doing this weekend will be "a gift to my children's hometown" and a colorful addition to life in downtown Binghamton.
Starting Friday, the Vestal artist whose mosaic artwork has been featured on the television programs "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" and "Hell's Kitchen" will begin creating a mosaic mural by gluing more than 30,000 pieces of colored glass to a wall, which used to be part of a fountain, by the former Lincoln First bank building.
And she's issued an open invitation to the community to be involved in the process. Children who come to the site Saturday can put their own pieces into the mosaic, she said. People also can sign up in advance on Jablon's Facebook page.
The mosaic will be a "reflection of color, imagery and light" and symbolize the rekindling of interest in downtown, said Jablon, who owns Susan Jablon Mosaics, an online glass tile company.
Planning for the mosaic began two years ago when Jablon was approached by the now-defunct Southern Tier Celebrates! to create a piece of public art in Binghamton. City officials picked the site, which is located across Court Street from Boscov's and River Read Books.
Jablon is financing the effort herself, with no tax money going into the project. She will be aided this weekend by her two children, both of whom are artists, and Chris Long, a mosaic artist who is volunteering his time. They plan to have one side of the wall done by the end of Sunday and decorate the other side of the wall over the summer.
The finished work will feature 400 different styles of mosaics in various sizes and textures, Jablon said. She hopes involving the community in the project will lessen the chance of any vandalism.
"We hope when people walk by, it will give them a moment of hope," she said.