The Mosaic Trail crowd-funding page is now LIVE!
Seven of "Mosaic Man" Jim Power's gorgeous mosaic poles were temporarily removed from Astor Place to accommodate the plaza's ongoing renovation after the Village Alliance assembled a coalition of partners including the Department of Transportation, CityLore, and several community activists to campaign for the restoration and inclusion of the poles into the new Astor Place design.
The campaign's success enabled Jim Power and his assistant Julie Powell to work full-time to rehabilitate the poles that were damaged during their removal and storage.
The Village Alliance has raised $18,000 to date in order to fund the project's materials and compensate the artists for their time. However, the project has proven more difficult and time-consuming than anticipated. The artists have been working tirelessly with the goal of finishing all seven poles before Astor Place's official re-opening in September, but the increased labor required has drained funding and clouded the artists' hopes for completing the project.
In response, the Village Alliance has worked closely with the artists to create this Generosity crowd-funding page, hoping that members of the community and beyond will contribute to restore these beautiful pieces of East Village history.
What makes these poles so beloved? In 1981 Jim Power returned to the East Village after serving in the Vietnam War, only to find his neighborhood struggling in a crime-ridden state of neglect. He started collecting bits and pieces of his downtrodden yet vibrant neighborhood: painted mosaic tiles, fragments of dishes and pottery, tiny mirrors, sculptures, seashells, and coins.
Over the next thirty years, Power would use these pieces to create gorgeous mosaics on walls and light posts. He used the tiniest of means to bring the streets to life, reminding people of the neighborhood's history of art, grit, and passion. Stretching from Broadway to Avenue A along St. Marks, the "Mosaic Trail" seamlessly guides people of all ages and interests through one of New York's most iconic neighborhoods.
Some light poles use interesting designs and abstract representations to honor the neighborhood's creative history. Others celebrate the area by naming cross streets, shops, local personalities, and other classic Village landmarks. No matter the style, each pole has a special place in the hearts of Villagers and New Yorkers alike.
Please help keep our community's rich, artistic history alive by donating anything you can. https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/jim-power-the-mosaic-trail