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The Glassbook Project: Brick by Brick

Brick by Brick is a collection of artist books created by students from the Honors Living and Learning Community at Rutgers-Newark in a class co-taught by Newest Americans co-founder Tim Raphael and Newark artists paulA Neves and Adrienne Wheeler. The class built on artist Nick Kline’s GlassBook project, which provided the source material for our story Provisions. This Brick by Brick class, and the books students created, were inspired by interviews from the Ironbound Oral History Archive (IOHA), a collection of over 250 interviews with Lusophone migrants to Newark. The interviews have been conducted since 2002 by Dr. Kimberly DaCosta, director of the Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies program at Rutgers-Newark, and her students. 

Students listened to interviews in the archive and selected one to use as the focus of their glass book. Through a series of assignments, students identified the content and form they would use to create a glass book: an abstract portrait of one of the IOHA narrators. Working with the staff at Glass Roots, a local glass art workshop, students fabricated a collection of glass books that were exhibited at the arts incubator Express Newark and the Van Buren branch of the Newark Public Library, located in the Ironbound, a neighborhood with the largest Lusophone population in the city. 

The Brick by Brick collection

Hover to see the title of the piece, the names of the artist, and the person whose narrative the sculpture is based on. Click to enlarge.