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Artist Seeks To Restore Iconic Mosaic Trail In The East Village

Artist Jim Power Working To Raise $80,000 For Efforts
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Mosaic Trail

A tiled light pole created by artist Jim Power, on Saint Mark’s Place in the East Village, August 18, 2005. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The creator of a trial of mosaic artworks mounted on lamp posts in the East Village is planning to restore and rebuild many of his creations that have been damaged over the years.

Jim Power, known in the area as the “Mosaic Man,” began working on a mosaic on a lamp post on Astor Place in the mid-1980s, according to published reports. In 1988, he received authorization by the city Department of Transportation to create mosaics on up to 80 more light poles.

The effort brought about the Mosaic Trail – running from Broadway east to Avenue A along 8th Street and St. Mark’s Place.

The mosaics are often dedicated to historical people, events or landmarks. Power has created mosaics commemorating the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2003 blackout, the history of the Great Hall at Cooper Union, according to a New York Times report. A mosaic honoring the long-gone Fillmore East rock club on Second Avenue near Sixth Street features a piece of a guitar that was smashed by Pete Townshend of the Who, the newspaper reported.

Power was indicted into the City Lore Peoples Hall of Fame and received an official proclamation from Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2004 for his contribution to the city, according to his Web site.

But due to vandalism and other damage, only about 25 percent of the lamp posts on the original trail remain, the Web site said.

Power in a video clip blamed the city Department of Sanitation under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for the removal of 50 of the light poles with his creations.

To restore the trail, Power has been seeking to raise $80,000 for rebuilding about half the damaged poles. Donors have been offered T-shirts, belt buckles and stickers with Powers’ designs, and even offers for donors’ pictures on tiles in new lamp post mosaics for contributions of various amounts.

Donors who contribute $2,500 were offered an opportunity to see their name, business or brand featured on the Mosaic Trail.

The proceeds were to go toward paying workers to assist Power, as well as artistic materials such as salvaged dishware and glass, construction materials and tools, and transportation to and from work sites.

The rebuilding effort is set to begin on Friday, May 24.

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