The third Creativity Cubed of 2017 was a celebration of all things mosaic and a homage to the Astor Place Mosaic Trail poles created by the “Mosaic Man”, Jim Power!
On a warm July Saturday, the sparkle and brilliance of thousands of pieces of small mosaic shone from the first ever-free mosaic workshops led by the “Mosaic Man”, as he shared his techniques, secrets and stories of how he created the iconic mosaic trail!
For the “Mosaic Man” his infamous, colorful mosaic trail is never finished, rather it constantly evolves, like the city, whose stories and life moments it documents for generations to come. At Creativity Cubed the trail again evolved with the creation of the Astor Place “community disc”, when for the first time in the trail’s history a mosaic was created by dozens of visitors, young and old, local and from afar. Each visitor cut and added their own mosaic piece to the disc, which will be mounted on one of the Astor Place poles. Like the Mosaic Trail itself, the disc will remain for years to come; documenting the day strangers came together, created and made the trail evolve that little bit more.
It wasn’t just mosaics that strangers were sharing, it was also stories…hundreds of stories...written and read with the Strangers Project. Now a regular feature at Creativity Cubed the The Strangers Project is a collection of over 20,000 anonymous handwritten “journal entries” shared spontaneously by passing strangers. At Creativity Cubed hundreds of stories have been shared, often very personal, sometimes exceptionally moving, in many cases people’s innermost secrets and fears anonymously released wide open in the very public bustle of Astor Place.
At the heart of every Creativity Cubed 2017 are mini-spinning cube making workshops celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Alamo sculpture, the “Cube”! Themed “Faces, Places and Traces of the East Village”. This year’s workshops have seen hundreds of visitors collage their mini spinning cubes with iconic images of the East Village, drawn from the past fifty years. As cube makers, young and old, strangers to each other, create, cut and paste, conversations often turned to the stories behind the images they were collaging with. Memories and anecdotes were shared between lifelong East Village residents, those whose who’ve recently moved to the area, or tourists and visitors simply passing through in a brief moment of time on a hot summers day.
Creativity Cubed has become many things to many people, it reminds us all of the power creativity and art to bring together people, strangers, friends and communities. We need not simply pass through space and our environments; we need not rush through life. Instead, we can step back a moment and embrace the art and history surrounding us, and document it through endless creativity and expression…just like the Mosaic Trail documents the endless life and creativity of our city, New York City.