The first mosaic was made in 1996 on the site of the former Hotel St. Regis, and the second on the site of the former Alpine Hotel. The second mosaic was removed in April 2022 in preparation for a new mural.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 25, 1996
Festival of the Lakes organizers seek the unusual
TRI-LAKES - Organizers of the Festival of the Lakes are seeking some unusual contributions for one of the Festival's projects.
Between June 27 and 30, Lisa Levinson, a muralist from Philadelphia, Pa., will be in Saranac Lake constructing one of her works of art on an exterior wall near the corner of Bloomingdale Ave; and Broadway. Pieces of tile, dishes, mirrors, and other durable ceramic goods are needed to help fill in the mosaic.
The theme of the mural project is "The Muses," creative spirits from Greek mythology who guide humans in artistic endeavors. Because of the subject and the mosaic medium, Festival of the Lakes organizers have dubbed the work the "Museaic."
The central tiles of the mural will be made in local school art classes in Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Thanks to a contribution of clay from the Laguna Clay Company of Skaneateles, students will be able to create tiles which reflect their personal artistic visions. Surrounding these central tiles will be smaller pieces of just about any material which will stand up to the north country's weather. That is where contributions from the community come into play.
Anyone who has old broken mirrors, broken dishes, old floor tiles, colored glass, or similar remnants lying around the house or property is welcome to give them to the Festival and perhaps see them become part of a beautiful, long-lasting work of outdoor art. In June, when Levinson begins to create the Museaic, the public will be welcome to come and help add tiles to the work.
Additional information on the project's construction will be announced as the Festival draws near.
For additional information on the Museaic project or contribution of materials, contact Pete Wilson at 891-2714.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 20, 1997
Festival of the Lakes tile-making sessions set
SARANAC LAKE - Organizers of the upcoming Festival of the Lakes have announced an opportunity for members of the community to make tiles to be added to the mural which will be constructed in downtown Saranac Lake later this month.
The tile-making session will take place at North Country Community College's Iroquois Room in Hodson Hall on Saturday, June 21 between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Anyone interested in making a tile may come at any time during the day. Once complete, the tiles will be kiln-fired and mounted as part of the second Festival of the Lakes mural to be created by artist Lisa Levinson. This year's location is diagonally across from last year's "Museaic" mural, in the village parking lot next to the Rusty Nail on Broadway in Saranac Lake. The mural will be created during the Festival of the Lakes on June 27-30. Materials for this project have been donated by Dick Blick Art Materials of Galesburg, III., and Peter Wilson of Mud Seizin' Pottery.
This year's mural, on a tiered wall, will reflect classic designs of Saranac Lake's past Winter Carnival Ice Palaces. Tile makers will asked to try to represent favorite outdoor activities — winter or summer - in simple clay forms. Of course any design representing personal creativity will be welcome. It may be helpful for participants (recommended for ages 7 to 100+) to sketch out an idea or two before translating it onto the clay.
During the Festival, those who made tiles -- as well as lots of additional volunteers, will be welcome to come and help construct the mural.
For more information, contact Peter Wilson at 891-2714.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 7, 1997
By TIM KENISTON
SARANAC LAKE The Festival of the Lakes has come to a close for this year, and another mosaic has been added to the village -- another mosaic that has brought the community together, according to Lisa Levinson.
All last weekend, during the massive arts and music festival, Levinson and over 60 artists worked to create the mosaic. A wall from the former Alpine Hotel next to the Rusty Nail now used as part of a village parking lot was transformed the wall into a colorful and shimmering representation of the Winter Carnival Ice Palace.
A native of Philadelphia. Levinson travels around the country helping communities make mosaics. Sometimes Levinson is asked to come into a community and others she asks the community.
"A friend told me that some people were planning on arts festival in the area," Levinson explains, "I contacted Susan Neal and she said to send her some examples of my work."
Levinson began her education in California working toward a bachelor's degree in biology and education. It is through education that Levinson notes she began working with the visual arts.
After receiving her bachelor's. Levinson went to Philadelphia to work on her master's degree in the fine arts with a concentration in museum exhibition and planning. It was in her master's work that Levinson first began working on the mosaic idea.
She was studying under a man in Philadelphia whose medium was the mosaic art form. He was an independent artist. Levinson saw more that could be done with the mosaics. Her thesis paper "Sacred Places in Public Spaces" was the basic tenant of her ideas.
"A disaster brings communities together and you meet people that you normally may not have," said Levinson, "but a positive event can have the same effect."
Instead of working with museum officials on exhibits, Levinson took her planning and organizing skills along with her artistic ability and went out into communities To date. Levinson has worked on mosaics in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Los Angeles to name a few; she will be going to New Mexico in October.
Levinson was quick to point out that Saranac lake was "one of the first chances to prove that it worked." Last year's mosaic met with overwhelming support, Levinson said
"Last year was wonderful," Levinson said, "There are people that make it a point to go by last year's mosaic once a week."
Levinson sees herself as merely a facilitator, though. It is the ideas generated by the community that go on the mosaic. It is the community that works on the mosaic. Levinson merely guides them.
"These people can basically do it on their own now," says Levinson of the Saranac Lake volunteers. "People say 'we couldn't work on last year's, so we want to help with this year's,'" Levinson continued.
Recognition is something that Levinson works heavily with, even in her work with the mosaics. "I like telling people 'great job;' this is my way of going everywhere and saying that," Levinson said.
Levinson's future plan is to open up a women's center somewhere. The theme of the center would be "Self-empowerment through self-employment." The center would be a place where women could learn new crafts or receive help in learning how to be self-employed.
Levinson also appeared hopeful about returning to the area again for the third annual Festival of we Lakes. She noted that a mosaic could have a positive effect on other villages as well.