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July Fest: The Artist Behind Binghamton's Mosaics

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

As the 56th annual July Fest kicked off Friday, and organizers say this year it's bigger and better than ever before with over 40 vendors, close to 30 artists, live music, and activities, like the Parlor City 5K Run. 

One craft vendor in the festival this year turns garbage into beauty.

Local artist Emily Jablon masters the art of upcycling.

“I’m known to most as a mosaic artist, but I’m really a glass artist and also a repurpose artist because so much of what you see here has been repurposed and honestly I think that’s what is most attractive to people here," said Jablon. 

Jablon uses discarded items including broken glass, old dishes, mirrors, and even dolls and converts them into something beautiful. 

“We reuse everything.”
— Emily Jablon, Local Artist

Many locals are probably familiar with her work, but they just don't know it. 

"My favorite thing to do as an artist is the large-scale mosaics that you’ve seen around Binghamton," said Jablon. 

Jablon is the artist behind the 'Be Inspired. Be Binghamton' mosaic and the other glass art pieces at the riverfront on the east side of the Court Street Bridge. She has a number of art pieces across the city with plans to expand beyond Binghamton. 

“I’m super excited to announce that we’re expanding our mosaics to Johnson City this year. We’re going to be mosaicing giant shoes that people can sit in because of the E-J history and the shoe factory, and we’re also going to be doing a giant mosaic at Boland Park in the pavilion,” said Jablon.

The local artist offers mosaic classes at her studio located on the east side of Binghamton. Currently, students at Jablon Studios are helping the local artist with the mosaic for Johnson City, in addition to creating their own masterpieces.

“Everything you see here you can make your own, anything from the repurposed windows to the melting glass, the fused glass for the mosaics, making the wind chimes, you can do it all there too," said Jablon.

With plans to keep creating mosaics for the area, Jablon has teamed up with Broome County Tourism to create an interactive mosaic map that will soon be available for your mobile device.