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Northern NJ Community Foundation Announces Artist Selected to Create Public Art: “Demarest Place Walkway Mural”

Press Release – (Bergen County, New Jersey; March 7, 2019) — The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s (NNJCF) ArtsBergen initiative announces the selection of artist Damien Mitchell to create a public art mural for Creative Hackensack’s “Demarest Place Walkway Mural” in Hackensack, New Jersey. ArtsBergen works with the Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), the Main Street Business Alliance, the City of Hackensack, and Alexander Anderson Real Estate Group to implement this project at 135 Main Street located on the corner of Demarest Place. Alexander Anderson Real Estate Group granted permission to use the building’s north sidewall.

The selection committee, comprised of representatives from the Main Street Business Alliance, CAT, the City of Hackensack, the arts community, and the Hackensack community-at-large, selected Mitchell after a competitive call to artists in 2018. The committee used these criteria: artistic excellent and quality, creativity of design and fresh interpretation of theme, experience, and the presentation of the application. The work on the public art mural begins this spring in April.

Demarest Place Walkway in Hackensack Photo Credit: Northern New Jersey Community Foundation

Public Art Reflects the Community

Artists submitted original designs using one of these themes the NNJCF’s ArtsBergen and the CAT gathered from input through public engagement: A Tribute to Hackensack’s Rich Music/Jazz History, The Lenni Lenape Indians, Key Events in Hackensack’s History, or A Contemporary Theme of the Artist’s Choice.

“The best public art has meaning to the community where it is located, while also vitalizing the space. The mural brands and and enlivens Demarest Place, as a unique public walkway from the bus station to the HACPAC, engaging those who live, work, and travel to the city. This will attract visitors and encourage civic pride,” said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

Artist Damien Mitchell

Originally from Wagga Wagga in Australia, places and people around Mitchell influence his work. His murals appear worldwide in several locations, including Hartford Paints the City in Connecticut in a citywide public art project and Meeting of Styles in Frankfurt, Germany. Mitchell’s work is also exhibited in the Empire Insurance office building in New York, New York. Mitchell’s live work graced murals at the Major League Baseball Allstar game in San Diego, California and for album of the year award at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York, New York, among others.

Creative Placemaking

The Hackensack CAT is a group of artists, merchants, organizational leaders and public officials collaborating to implement a creative placemaking plan for the City of Hackensack. Creative placemaking integrates arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost the local economy. The “Demarest Place Walkway Mural” is among several projects the CAT identified to implement the city’s Creative Vision Statement developed with input from various members and sectors of the community.

About NNJCF

Founded in 1998, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, the environment, philanthropy, and the arts. The NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life. The Foundation’s partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org, send an email to nnjcf@nnjcf.org, or call (201) 568-5608. Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy. The initiative’s mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts. For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org


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