Imagined Glassboro Mural Proposal: Glass Roots

Glass Roots

As passionate filmmakers, we saw an opportunity to use our interests and talents to bring a new, unique perspective to this project. Rather than creating an imagined mural for Glassboro, we highlighted the key aspects of Glassboro’s past through a short documentary of the Heritage Glass Museum. Our video focuses on the Museum’s representation of Glassboro’s history in the glass industry. Through interviews with knowledgeable Heritage Glass Museum Trustee Rick Grenda and Councilwoman and Glassboro Historical Society President Daniele Spence, the documentary touches on the founding of Glassboro and of the Heritage Glass Museum. 

We felt challenged to consider how video artwork could be as publicly accessible as a typical mural. Our solution was to create a sign that would invite passerby to stop and scan a QR code linked to the video. The sign reads, "Take a Moment and Watch This," asking people to stop and participate in experiencing our audiovisual creation.

A number of global processes made the founding of the Heritage Glass Museum possibly, a story that relies on the history of Glassboro itself. The town is considered to be established by German immigrant Solomon Stanger, who bought the unnamed land that became known as the Glassworks in the Woods. His experience with glassmaking back in Germany and his journey with his brothers to New Jersey allowed him to use the natural resources available here in Glassboro to begin the town's glassmaking industry. Yet even before this land purchase in 1779, Native Americans occupied the space that they would later be forced off of. Over the years, the glassmaking industry in Glassboro changed hands, grew in size, and adapted to changing demands of glassmaking itself. Today, the museum holds many glass artifacts, made in Glassboro and elsewhere, that pay tribute to the town's complex and dynamic glassmaking history.

Glassmaking was a major aspect of Glassboro's culture for a long span of time. Workers were paid in special notes that could be used in general stores owned by the people they worked for. Their hard labor allowed the industry to prosper until they were replaced with machines. Our tribute aims to bring light to the cultural significance of the town's history that warrants the statues and street names commemorating our predecessors.

View Our Video!


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