Mosaic artist Allison Eden has had her work displayed in many places—from prominent positions within New York City’s Bloomingdales stores to hospitals in Alaska. Through it all, her love of using colored glass to make a full scale work of art continues. She knows the effect that a pop of color can have on the human soul. Elliman Insider sat down with Allison to find out how her talent has evolved over the years.
Elliman Insider: Where do you get most of your inspiration?
I am inspired by my mom who is an interior designer, as well as the 70s and 80s. Those decades are all about a big, bold style which is apparent in my works (for example the giant shoe that sits in the Bloomingdales shoe department). Sometimes it’s just from traveling or walking through the city; I’m always sure to record any inspiration in a book I carry with me.
Elliman Insider: Has your artistic style changed throughout your career? If so, how?
From the first time I experimented with glass until now, of course things have changed. I’ve realized that people want custom works, they want different, and they want things that are positive, that make their home a happy place. Social media has been such a motivating factor too—feature walls where people can take pictures are important and a photo op background is always a chance for me to work my bold design. It makes people more interested in taking selfies and posting them if there is a wild background behind them.
Elliman Insider: When did you know you wanted to work with tiles and create mosaics? How do you think it’s different from other artistic mediums and have you ever explored these?
It was a happy accident really. I graduated with a BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City so I’ve always had an interest in art and fashion. My career in mosaic art started when I stumbled upon some colorful sheet glass in the Village one day. After I broke it up and experimented with it at home, I brought it to a tile store across the street from my home and they loved it.
Elliman Insider: You were commissioned to create a pop of color to a hospital in Alaska to fight high suicide rate. What do you think color does for the soul and how do you think it helps us during dark times?
Barrow, Alaska has 67 days of darkness in the winter—that’s over two months. My mosaics are happy, bright, positive, and loud; they’re all about color. I think it gets viewers through knowing there’s light at the end of the tunnel, something to look forward to and that it won’t be darkness forever.
Elliman Insider: As an artist, do you tend to view the world differently through more ‘colored’ lenses? Are there instances where you are inspired by something that others may see as ordinary?
Part of the things I recorded in my inspiration book were things I love: lips, palm trees, rainbows, unicorns and lip gloss. My husband was doubtful that this would sell, but I knew that these items could be fun, part of the positive vibe people are looking for when they decorate their space.
Elliman Insider: Tell us more about your work with Bloomingdales.
Bloomingdales contacted me to help make 3d objects for their departments. I created a perfume bottle that is about 9 feet tall and a gigantic shoe for the shoe department. Now my designs are featured in their windows and they’ve always been supportive throughout my time working with them.