Friday, December 11, 2009

Nick Martin and the kids celebrate new mural!

I'm happy to announce that Nick Martin has completed his Dogs mural at the old YMCA center on Bergen Ave in Jersey City, NJ.
The center is now run by a local Police Activity League that offers after school programs for the neighborhood kids. After a couple of months of Saturday mornings, the mural was completed. The PAL put together a BBQ celebration for the new mural, which the kids got to see for the first time. The kids were super happy and many high-fives were exchanged!
You can see the mural in the YMCA courtyard on Monticello Ave between Fairview and Jewett Aves.
Thanks to the Sgt. and staff of the PAL, as well as Nick Martin, for making this mural happen.

(last photo by R. Reesa Sibayan for the Jersey Journal)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Some pics from opening weekend...

Sorry for the delay on the opening weekend pics! There is plenty of artwork to still be installed, so more surprises and photos will be coming! The Ron English, Dan Drabkin, Eyesor, and Vendri murals have all been installed, so check them out at the site if you are in downtown Jersey City. Pictures will be posted soon! I've also had a shirt created to commemorate the event, which features artwork from Bigfoot. It's 5 colors and looks even more awesome in person (the green is really bright!). If you are interested in a shirt, please leave me a comment. Enjoy the photos below...more to come!
Kid Zoom (from Australia)
Isaac Fortoul
Heather Gargon

Friday, October 9, 2009

Raw Power, partially installed!

Thank you to those that came out to during Studio Tour weekend to see the mural installation at on the Morgan Building at 350 Warren Street in downtown Jersey City. It was a pleasure to meet all of you!

Installation ended up being a more labor and time intensive procedure than the developer had anticipated, so only a portion of the artwork was installed for the weekend, but it was still a wonderful sight to see. Many local residents and visitors expressed how great everything looked, and how happy they were to see such a unique art installation. I apologize for not posting photos just yet, but I've had a very busy week since the Studio Tour weekend of October 3rd and 4th. I also need to watermark before adding them. This should be done SOON...

For now, here's a sneak preview of Vendri's killer octopus, with some local residents having fun...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Raw Power is coming! Outdoor painting this weekend!

Another outdoor painting session is scheduled for this weekend, September 26th.

Meanwhile, here are some earlier photos from the beginning of the project...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Raw Power exhibit downtown + 2nd Mural Finished!

I'm happy to share that after the course of several scattered Saturday afternoons, the second permanent mural of what I hope to be an ongoing series of public art pieces, has been completed. I'm working on a date for an opening party for that mural, at the end of the month, and then I will post photos.

I also have a HUGE project to announce called RAW POWER, which will be a large mural art installation that will wrap around an entire building in downtown Jersey City. My goal with the project was to introduce, promote, and gain support for creative public art, by providing an outdoor location that would serve as a large canvas for different street artists from around the country and world to gather, paint, and display their art together.

The perfect location was found in downtown Jersey City's Powerhouse Arts District, a building that spans an entire city block, offering 4 sides of available wall space. The developer of 350 Warren (aka the Morgan Building), liked my idea, but out of concern of an anti-graffiti backlash and the decaying state of the bricks, we came up with an idea that would wrap the building with a band of murals created on panel, installed to the building about 15 feet up from the ground.

With the location secured, I began inviting artists to come to Jersey City, where the owner converted the interior loading dock into large stations so the artists would have plenty of room to paint comfortably.

In late July, Gaia was the first on the scene to contribute. That afternoon, he made the project really feel alive by painting the first piece for the show. He was the only artist painting in the huge space, and I imagined what it could look full and busy, an organized chaos of different artists working simultaneously side by side.

Jump ahead to today, and the action at the building was in full swing. About 15 different stations were set up outside AND inside, with approximately 20 artists working on the panels all at once. It was a great and positive experience to watch all the artists painting. So many of the artists expressed their gratitude for this platform to share their artwork with the community, and I expressed mine back for their amazing contributions. While thanks are being mentioned, I should mention a big thank you to the folks of Montana Colors for supporting this project with a generous donation of their all season, UV resistant 94 Spray Paint.

Next weekend on September 26th, 350 Warren Street will host another outdoor painting session. Visitors are encouraged to come out and watch the artists work on their pieces. There are still some guest artists that will be contributing artwork before the end of the month in time for the opening on Studio Tour weekend of October 3rd and 4th.

Now on to the pics from today's event (not every piece is shown here. There still needs to be suprises!):

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mural #2 Update:

Work continues on Mural #2...

Here's an update in the form of a sneak preview...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Second Mural in progress...

After a couple of months of coordinating, here is a sneak preview of a solo artist beginning the second mural of my project over this past weekend. I'd like to keep the artist and location under wraps until it's officially finished, but enjoy these teaser pics. The artist should complete the painting in 2-3 weeks, since he is only available to work on it on weekends. I'm very happy to see a second mural beginning, and will continue my efforts to bring more art to the public.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update: nothing official to report just yet...

I realize there haven't been any updates, as I am not ready to officially announce the next project just yet. Some people are waiting to hear something, as evidenced by one reader's email:

"I am not sure if you got my first email. If there is no new news on the mural project other than what you have posted on your blog that is fine, but I would appreciate a response. Community support is important for things like this and that is what I am trying to provide. I am a home and business owner in this town and am looking for creative ways to support this town.

Thank you in advance for your response."

I don't like to get ahead of myself by announcing my next location or artist before things are 100% confirmed. If things don't follow through, it's more than just myself that is disappointed. 

One of the most difficult factors in the mural equation is getting wall space. Some of the business owners I've approached for a wall don't understand the value that public art would provide to their community. It's possible they think I'm asking permission to tag their walls with graffiti.

A reader of the Jersey Journal article asked me to further explain my project. Below is my response, which explains the foundation for my project, and the goals I hope to achieve:

"I believe that the murals are more than just a large public piece of art for the public to enjoy. My idea was that not only could the murals beautify the city, but that by selecting the world's top contemporary artists, Jersey City could benefit from all of the media exposure that would follow the progression of my mural program. I felt that by promoting these murals by famous artists, Jersey City would become a destination for art-loving tourists from around the globe, as well as Manhattan and the boroughs, which in turn, would create new revenue in our local economy. Public art is not only good for the residents of the neighborhoods, but also great for the surrounding businesses. Feel free to ask Hudson County Art Supply how the response to the mural has been. They would know best. I've already heard from the owner that people have come from New York City to see the mural in person. 

I also believe that by giving a gift of art to a neighborhood, you are creating something that all of the diverse residents of a community can be proud of. If a community is proud of their new mural, they won't want to see it damaged. My hope is that the same pride extends beyond the wall of the mural to their entire community, which would result in cleaner and safer neighborhoods. 

My goal is that these public murals will result in a cleaner, safer, healthier, vibrant and colorful city."

If any readers know of a business or residence that would like to contribute wall space for a public mural, be sure to let me know. 

Thank You,

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Introduction + First Mural completed 3/19/09

A few months ago I had an idea to bring together my favorite contemporary artists to contribute large beautiful pieces of art in public space for all of my city to enjoy...

On Tuesday March 17, my big idea materialized before me as I watched my Jersey City neighbor Ron English spray stencils on the wall of Hudson County Art Supply at the corner of First and Coles Street in downtown Jersey City. This is the very first mural to take place since I conceived of this program in November 2008. My goal is to have 5 murals by the end of summer 2009. 

For the very first mural, Ron went above and beyond to make sure this project started with a big bang. He invited west coast artist Jason Maloney and Brooklyn's long-haired Kiss-lovin' giant, Bigfoot, to join him on a collaborative improv jam at Hudson County Art Supply. The results of their combined talents were nothing short of stunning, as the colors and characters were so bright and crisp, they looked like they were jumping off of the wall. 

One of my beliefs behind this project was that fun, joyful art could actually unite communities. I watched people of all ages and ethnicities stand side by side on the sidewalk, smiling as they watched the guys plot and paint. Several people from the neighborhood, who happened upon the work in progress, pitched in to assist the artists any way they could. I saw parents and children stop at the mural, go home, and then return with cameras to take pictures of the wall together. The diversity of the crowds that gathered to watch the live painting was my confirmation that art can bring all kinds of different people together peacefully. Even the mayor stopped by to give the city's nod to the project. 

Below are photos of transformation of the wall, and the artists at work. I scoped it out the previous evening with Jason and Ron as they came up with a very loose plan of their art attack.

Big Thank You to Ron English, Bigfoot, and Jason Maloney. Of course a special thank you to John, Carlos, and
Hudson County Art Supply for their wall and generous donation of paint and supplies. Thanks also go out to Greg Brickey at the Department of Cultural Affairs!

Enjoy these first photos, which were taken by me,
Dylan Evans, except the group photo with the Mayor which was taken by Irene Borngraeber.

Please give a photo credit and link to this site if you'd like to use them. (Click on the photo to enlarge..)