Model of a concrete mixing truck

This is a model of a motorized concrete mixer truck. The driver’s cabin is decorated with steering wheel, cushioned seat, headlights, license plate and ladder.  A recycled motor moves the truck forward and in reverse. This motor is linked to a shaft that that spins the concrete mixer. When the truck arrives at the construction site, the concrete contents can be poured out through an adjustable trough at the back. All details are made by hand, and the dimensions are measured against actual trucks.

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Operating scale model of a steam crane

Here is a scale model of a steam crane. Many of the small parts are made from found materials such as copper staples, old gears, recycled wood, beads, and metal tacks. A motor moves the machine forward. While one hand-operated crank raises or lowers the boom, the other crank unwinds the hook and cable. Dimensions: 4.5 inches wide, 8.5 inches long, and 20 inches tall.

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My little neighborhood in Downtown Newark

Washington Park in Downtown Newark

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Newark Model SmallLeft to right: Broad Street Station, Polhemus House, YWCA Building, Newark Museum, Ballantine House,
Second Presbyterian Church, American Insurance Company, Newark Public Library

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When I examine old pictures of my neighborhood in Newark’s archives, I realize that so much of my city’s built environment has vanished. This trend will continue, as it does in most cities where old buildings outlive their use. If not in the form of my city’s physical destruction, this loss is in the form of my gradual loss of childhood memories. To reconcile this, I built the below model as my own souvenir. This keepsake will forever remind me of my Newark identity.
The landmarks depicted are selected from my neighborhood and include my childhood home. The buildings are drawn with ink and pastel on thick paper, which is then cutout to form a two-dimensional silhouette. The trolleys travel back and forth down the street and are magnetically operated by a crank and hidden string beneath the street. The tracks guide the trains up, down, and into the tunnel. These trolleys are modeled on those that used to exist in Newark, long before my time here.
Perhaps, this models presents a more romanticized and idealized Newark than the city that actually exists.

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New York City in Miniature

The impressive range New York’s architecture, from the humblest home to the slenderest tower, powers my inspiration to create. I aim to capture my perceptions of the bustling city through art.
With a base measuring 28 by 36 inches, I built this model in summer 2014 of wood, paper, and plastic. It contains several dozen of the city’s landmarks, skyscrapers, people, lampposts, subway stations, and a bevy of operating subway cars. Whenever I glance at my tiny creation, I rejoice in knowing that my love of New York is within the breadth of my arms.

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Animation of New York City in miniature

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Animation of one day in the New York City subway

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The chaotic city passes me when riding the NYC subway. It is a whirlwind of colorful peoples, buildings, and cultures. Each new turn of the creaking screeching train reveals new sights. At each new tunnel, there is the always the waiting for the burst of light at the end. And then, there is always the expectation of the next journey.

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NYC collage small

 

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Paper cutouts

Like origami, these flat sheets fold into the shapes of three-dimensional landmarks.

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Handmade Dollhouse

I built this dollhouse over several years. Using balsa wood, cardboard, and salvaged scraps, I glued together all the pieces of furniture. Odds and ends – such as bottle caps, fabric scraps, and earrings – enrich the rooms with detail. None of the materials are purchased from a building kit or model store. They are all handmade as a skill-building exercise.

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Dollhouse