Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Power of Public Art

Jim Power has been doing public art in the East Village for more than two decades without pay. He has covered more than 80 poles with beautiful mosaic, "more than two miles of mosaic trail," he says. Sitting with his dog, Jesse Jane, with her beautiful mosaic collar, and his mosaic-covered cane, he continued to sit amongst the crowds and practice his craft.

"It's beautiful," I said, as I put money in his tip jar by Union Square. "And for enjoying something in New York, you must pay..."

He shook his head in disagreement. "Not always," he said.

Mr. Power has given his life to offer free art, so it stands to reason he would not agree. As my mother and I stood talking to him, a crowd had gathered, a sightseeing group from all over the world led by a guide who chatted with Jim, asked him what was new.

What's new is that Jim is finally asking for funds. He has started an e-mail writing campaign to get something back for all he has put in, to finally, maybe, reap the benefits now that Wikipedia has named the area the East Village where his art resides officially The Mosaic Trail.

To help Jim, you can e-mail In addition to $5, I gave him a gold star and he put it on his hat, covered with a variety of other signs and symbols.

"I got a promotion!" he said, giving himself and me a big thumbs up.


  1. Thanks for the reminder! There was a glitch before, but now I've posted a pic!