Saturday, April 18, 2009


#108, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

The first time I passed by this wall on Wyckoff Street, it was a crisp autumn day a few months before the last election. The only thing more impressive than the stunning array of mosaics, beads, shells, and glittering jewelry glued to the side of the house was the stunning civic-mindedness of the house's inhabitant who'd set out hanging file holders stuffed with blank voter registration forms. Giving back to the community as both artist and citizen while the rest of the country was going around in a tension-filled bubble, muttering bipartisan hostilities, buying guns and/or looking for loopholes in Canadian citizenship websites? I didn't know what to gawk at first.

The artist behind the mosaics is Susan Gardner, an artist who lives at the address. Her mosaics immediately called to mind the lampposts of Jim "Mosaic Man" Power, whose work you've probably seen if you've ever taken a stroll through the East Village. (He's done nearly a hundred of them to date.) Gardner's creations are bright and whimsical and clearly the work of someone out to beautify the neighborhood one broken dish at a time. Of her work-in-progress she writes:
One day in 2001 I went outside and started gluing things to the front of my house. I have not stopped yet. My hope was to make a celebratory statement that would cheer and amuse. The neighborhood has embraced and encouraged the project. The joy of sharing it with strangers has made me very happy.
You can see more images of Gardner's wall here, though I recommend taking a stroll past it in person. It was a pleasure to stumble upon it by accident, but it makes a good destination for a Boerum Hill amble, as Lost City has outlined for you. I, for one, am glad to have it as a neighbor.


GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Bet you've been guarding this three-digit vigilantly lest someone post the lurid treasure 1st. Stunningly garish.

The down side: 108 took so much out of you that you are left speechless, and linkless.

Therese Cox said...

Ha! You caught me in the time zone lapse. I'm in Chicago, where midnight happens a little later than New Yawk, so I had the picture up before the post. Hope you like both added speech and link.

Funny, though. Indeed I had been hoarding this 108 with excitement and then Lost City - just about a week ago - did a walking tour of Boerum Hill post with a big fat picture of the mosaics. But no worries. I'm perfectly happy to be one fan among many. Glad you like it too.

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Therese Cox

If you have time, amble on over to our post today (4/18/09). We'd love your two cents on the NUMBER. You will find a "200" front row and center, just waiting to have its font identified and, metaphorically, its palm read!

Therese Cox said...

Cool. I'll be sure to check it out. Metaphorical number palm reading: perhaps there is a future for me in this most esoteric field.

Ray Gunn said...

The huz and I fight about this facade whenever we park near it on Wyckoff. One of us likes it, the other one loathes it. And it's probably not the roles you'd assign.

My WVW today is boring: ounce.

Therese Cox said...

Ray - Since I'd generally imagine you miming retching at the sight of so much gaudy beadery, I'm going to guess, against all instinct, that you like this?

My WVW that popped up was "blamo." Wasn't there a toy by this name that was banned by the FDA or something?

Julie said...

Reminds me of country towns in my state where at least one person has a shell house. I think I have been known to do that mimicking thing.