• SRS Liberty Tree, 2007

    Jennifer Baker

    Ceramic, tile and glass*

    Repurposed glass from Liberty Bell Pavilion, 1976

    Dismantled in 2006

    Project Description

    Visiting artist Jennifer Baker’s vision for this project was to combine triangular pieces of glass, with mirror, ceramic tile and stone to create a massive mosaic mural depicting a sprawling central tree, which would become known as the SRS Tree of Life.  The artist acquired several pieces of glass from the dismantling in 2006 of the Liberty Bell Pavilion designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects at the time of the Bicentennial in 1976.  Baker hoped that the SRS Tree of Liberty would be the first in a series of liberty glass murals installed around the region.
    The children designed on paper their individual parts of the overall mural.  While the tree, clouds and horizon unify the over 90 individual sections, Baker encouraged each student to add their individual ideas to the mosaic landscape.  The artist studied the students' drawings and designed the finished landscape, incorporating as many of the student’s ideas as she could.  The Liberty Bell triangles serve as the trunk and some branches of the tree.  Smaller tiles and mirror pieces articulate and complete the full design.
    Students assembled their section of the mosaic on backer board.  They mixed and colored the grout, then grouted, cleaned and polished their own sections.  The mosaic mural is installed on the Annex Building facing the cafeteria at SRS.
    Project Chair:  Sally Fullam

    About the Artist 

    Jennifer Baker is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of the Arts (formerly known as Philadelphia College of Art.  She has exhibited extensively in Philadelphia and New York and is a recipient of the prestigious Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Visual Art Fellowship.