GLASSROOTS RENOVATION OF HISTORIC BUILDING TO BRING ART, JOBS AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO DOWNTOWN NEWARK
Contact: Carly O’Brien
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2018
Mayor Baraka, Rutgers Chancellor Cantor among Dignitaries Joining the Celebration
NEWARK, N.J. – GlassRoots, a Newark-based nonprofit that transforms lives through the art of glass-making, today announced that it will take part in renovating the ground floor of the old St. Michael’s Hospital – an abandoned historic building – into a creative hub that will serve youth and adults throughout Newark and New Jersey. The refurbished site will connect community members with arts, sciences and education and drive economic growth toward revitalizing a once blighted neighborhood.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, GlassRoots Board President Kathryn Markel, Founding Board Member Dena Lowenbach, and Jan Nicholson and Barbara Nicholson McFadyen, Trustees of The Nicholson Foundation, joined Barbara Heisler, Chief Executive Officer of GlassRoots, at the groundbreaking ceremony today. The original St. Michael’s Hospital is a long-vacant building constructed in 1867. Following the renovation, GlassRoots will occupy over 18,000 square feet of the building as an anchor tenant and collaborate with other educational and arts groups to catalyze the development of the entire neighborhood.
“GlassRoots is so much more than the glass arts. Through glass, we introduce math and science in unique ways, help our students create paths for their futures and nourish important life skills in our community,” said Barbara Heisler, Chief Executive Officer of GlassRoots. “The move to this larger space will allow us to welcome more people in our community and help lead a resurgence of creativity and economic vibrancy in Newark.”
Programs at the new facility will join art, entrepreneurship and STEM education in both practical and creative ways, helping local youth and adults explore their artistic sides while developing knowledge and skills to succeed in their careers.
The estimated total cost of GlassRoots’ facilities renovation is $2.1 million, of which nearly $1.5 million has been raised to date through GlassRoots’ 20/20 Capital Campaign. The Nicholson Foundation, a Newark-based organization, will contribute a transformational gift of one million dollars to the project.
GlassRoots is working side by side with the philanthropic community to cultivate and secure support to not only reach the $2.1 million goal – but to exceed it, according to Kathryn Markel, Chair of the 20/20 Campaign. “We are tremendously grateful to Jan Nicholson and Barbara Nicholson McFadyen for their confidence in our efforts and their commitment to seeing that GlassRoots remains a vital part of the Newark and New Jersey community,” she said.
“My father supported GlassRoots at its inception because of the vision that it could reach, engage and help Newark’s youth,” said Jan Nicholson, President of The Nicholson Foundation. “Today, 17 years later, it is giving young people boundless opportunities for personal and professional development.”
GlassRoots is one of many organizations turning the old hospital into a creative hub, including Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and Newark Arts. “Newark Arts is thrilled that a new cultural center will be anchored by GlassRoots. For the arts community, University Heights neighborhood, and arts organizations that will share space there, it’s a win-win-win. We’re excited to be among the prospective tenants that will create critical mass for the city’s arts sector,” said Jeremy Johnson, Newark Arts Executive Director.
Other partners in the project include the City of Newark, New Jersey Community Capital, Hanini Group, Hollister Construction and Crawford Street Partners.
The newly-renovated GlassRoots space will include:
"Our Community Asset Preservation Corporation is excited to be a partner in fueling the redevelopment of this community asset in University Heights. We are thrilled that GlassRoots will call St. Michael’s home and look forward to bringing other Newark nonprofits and educational institutions to this arts and cultural incubator as well," said Wayne T. Meyer, President, New Jersey Community Capital.
The full renovation process is expected to take eight months, and the new spaces are planned to open to the public early in 2019.
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About GlassRoots: GlassRoots is a Newark-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for achievement to youth and young adults by engaging them in the creation of glass art and the development of entrepreneurial and life skills. GlassRoots programs are STEAM-based (STEM+Art), and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, workforce development programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development. For more information, please visit www.glassroots.org, call 973.353.9555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Nicholson Foundation: The Nicholson Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in New Jersey. The Foundation’s approach emphasizes partnerships and performance-based grant making; its goal is sustainable systems reform. For more information about the Foundation, visit http://thenicholsonfoundation.org.
NEWARK, NJ (April 16, 2018) — Sandra Charlap’s job requires her to come up with new and creative uses for broken glass, and to teach kids to do the same.
“Showing kids how to create glass mosaics provides many ‘teachable moments’, beyond safety lessons. When students are working on a large mosaic as a team they have the chance to learn a craft, but it also encourages them to think of the larger picture – that making art could become a career.”
As the newly appointed Lead Flat Shop Instructor for GlassRoots’, a seventeen year old non-profit arts-education studio in Newark, Ms. Charlap is taking an ancient art-form in a few, new and novel directions.
“I’m a curious artist. I’m trained as a painter but I utilize lots of different materials as if they were paint, including glass. Any material with a wide range of color can function like paint.”
“Flat-work” is the term used to describe functional pieces or works of art made with cut-glass that is fused together, or glued together then grouted as a mosaic. In fused-glass projects, separate pieces of glass are heated together in a kiln. This method has been around for about 2000 years.1 Mosaics date back as far as the 3rd century in Mesopotamia.
Sandra’s new portrait series at GlassRoots utilizes fused-glass, and focuses on everyone’s two favorite subjects; their pets, and themselves. These glass portraits can range from sweet and whimsical, to elegant and impressive, depending upon the skill of the student.
“Ten years ago I began doing Pet Portraits in watercolor. When I started here at GlassRoots I immediately thought of translating them into glass. I’m happy to teach anyone how to create a portrait in glass, from beginners to established artists who already work in glass, or any other form.”
Initially trained in illustration at Parsons School of Design, Sandra went on to earn her MFA at Montclair State University with a concentration in printmaking, and initially opened her own design business, designing and creating custom tabletop ceramics for Barney’s, Henri Bendel, Neiman Marcus and ABC Carpet and Home. Over the course of her career Sandra added mastery in watercolor, acrylic, oils, print collage and mosaics to her skill set. For five years Sandra was the primary art teacher for grades 6 to 12 at Golda Och Academy in West Orange, NJ.
In her new mosaic series, Sandra takes the ubiquitous smiley-face emoji and teaches workshop attendees how to turn them into permanent statements in glass tile, which can be framed and hung, or displayed on an easel. “I call them emoj-aics”. It’s a great way to connect with students in a language they already speak, while getting them to expand their range of self-expression. There really is no limit as to what you can do with glass.”
Sandra continues to show and sell her work to a wide audience while she brings her artistic and entrepreneurial spirit to GlassRoots.
1. Source: SAMA Society of American Mosaic Art www.americanmosaics.org
About GlassRootsGlassRoots is a Newark-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for achievement to youth and young adults by engaging them in the creation of glass art and the development of entrepreneurial and life skills. GlassRoots programs are STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, workforce development programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development. For more information, please call 973.353.9555 or email email@example.com.
The mission of GlassRoots is to ignite and build the creative and economic vitality of greater Newark, with a focus on under-served youth and young adults, through the transformative power of the glass art experience.