Artist’s impression of the water bottle chandeliers inside Hahne’s grand atrium

Express Newark is partnering with Hahne’s to commission a water bottle chandelier project by Form Design Studio Artist in Residence, Willie Cole. Cole will be creating two chandeliers made with 5,000 bottles each at Express Newark, Rutgers University-Newark’s community arts space located in the historic New Jersey Hahne & Co. building. The bottles are being sourced from donations made to the artist and from dedicated receptacles located throughout the Rutgers campus.

Cole is a Newark native best known for transforming used or domestic objects into intriguing works of art and installations, also referred to as upcycling.  His work is inspired by the thousands of plastic water bottles that are discarded every day. He aims to reduce the environmental impact of plastic, create something of value, and in this case, bring the Newark community together.

Assembling the chandeliers will occur in three phases: cleaning and removing the labels, making holes in each bottle, and stringing the bottles together on 12′ steel wires. Students from the Honors Living-Learning Community and NCLC’s College Pathways Initiative program, as well as the general public, will execute a large part of the process, allowing the community to be engaged and bringing awareness to the impact plastic has on our environment.

The chandeliers will be installed in the Hahne’s grand atrium in the upcoming months.

The former Hahne & Co. flagship department store building was restored and redeveloped into a vibrant mixed-use, mixed-income development in the heart of downtown Newark, New Jersey, and opened in 2016.