At Bloomfield Township Council’s July 22 meeting, public art advocate Ralph Andre delivered a presentation about potentially bringing the successful Jersey City Mural Arts Program to Bloomfield.
“Many neighboring towns have utilized their artistic communities to beautify their downtown areas, which encourages foot traffic, shopping, and recreation for people of all ages,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “We already invest quite a lot in our local artists, such as the bike mural in our Glenwood Garage, and frequent pop up galleries we sponsor every year. By partnering with organizations like the Jersey City Mural Arts Program, we can continue to both give our local artists a bigger platform and beautify our thriving downtown district.”
The Jersey City Mural Arts Program includes a dedicated website and app to allow Bloomfield residents, or those visiting Bloomfield, to locate popular murals on a map. Future versions of the app will likely include features linking people to local businesses, especially restaurants.
“Since establishing our Mural Program 6 years ago, I’ve watched it grow to now 140 murals, bringing vibrancy and beautification to all pockets of Jersey City and showcasing the talents of our local artists,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “Public art not only contributes to our city-wide beautification efforts, but encourages visitors, shopping and recreation. I am glad to see Mayor Venezia and the Township of Bloomfield follow our example and foster arts in public spaces.”
“The JCMAP program held an event for the launch of its website earlier this month, where I was impressed by the community involvement. There is untapped potential in Bloomfield in the arts, and enrolling in a program like this will benefit the Bloomfield community at large,” said Bloomfield Director of Internet Technology Jean-guy Lauture. “I was invited to the event by Ralph Andre and shared my outstanding experience with Recreation Director Michael Sceurman, Councilman Gamble and the Mayor, who agreed we should pursue bringing this program to Bloomfield.”
Over the past six years, Bloomfield has supported located artists through seasonal pop up photography galleries on Broad Street, bringing color and interest to a previously empty storefront in town. Additionally, the Township commissioned artists to restore the existing ‘Stay Strong’ mural last year. Video of the JCMAP program can be viewed online.