The 1st Street Mural Project is bringing the joyous mosaic mural design process used by Isaiah Zagar of Philadelphia’s Magic Garden to the Ithaca Community. We engage children, youth in middle school, adults, and local teens and college students in the creation of the materials, design, and installation of this project. Below are the themes we have based our work on each year:

2012-2013 Planning & Movement Building

We approached the Public Art Commission in the fall of 2012 with our idea. They approved and endorsed our vision, and in 2013 we worked to organize, build momentum, and assemble resources.

2014 Power Plants

The first stage of the Project began. We had our first donations of tiles for the wall and a growing group of supporters.

We applied for funding to work with kids to design the first part of the mural and for a series of public events to create small feature tiles that will be used in the installation. In July we had a design charrette at the Treman Center in Enfield. With the new tile and lots of support and donations, we worked with our Youth Bureau apprentices to get ready for the big weekend. We installed the Power Plants mosaic on the weekend before Ithaca College began school and with the help of about 20 incoming first year students who participated in the Community Plunge program.

2015 Gaia’s Garden

We ran a similar cycle, working at Boynton, having a double charette in July so that we could get a head start on Plantastic! We also worked making tiles with the TUFs from the Youth Bureau and brainstormed with the Plantations PEEPS. Both groups learned to make stepping stone mosaics. And again a late August install with the Community Plunge volunteers.

2016 Plantastic

We have rounded the corner and mosaiced to the end of the wall on Franklin St.!!! Our theme was a celebration of agriculture in our region. This portion of the mosaic features a big red bard with a yard full of animals created by Boyton Middle School students. There are rolling fields, a sporty tractor jockey (farmer), windmills, an over flowing cornucopia, lovely evergreen, and a watering can raining down on the abundance!

2017 IthAquatica

The Cayuga Lake Basin, Flora and Fauna”. The Design will focus on Cayuga Lake Basin featuring the flora and fauna of this important water resource. We will examine the types of plants and animals that depend on the watershed for habitat, from creek to gorge to lake, including salamanders, snakes, frogs and birds in the lake plains region; otters, herons and mud puppies along the lake shore; and the fish and ducks that feed on the lake’s native water plants. The plants and animals selected will be New York native species, complementing the Sciencenter’s 2016 Animal Room expansion featuring New York Native Species.

As part of our summer activities we are hosting a 3-day program, Community Mosaics, an Introductory Workshop,  for artists, educators, and enthusiasts on August 18-20.

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