BLOOMFIELD, NJ – A presentation about potentially bringing a Mural Arts Program to the Township highlighted Bloomfield’s Regular Council Meeting on Monday, July 22 at the Civic Center on Broad Street.
Public art advocate Ralph Andre provided a slideshow presentation to the Council and members of the public in attendance at the meeting about the program that has seen success in Jersey City.
“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 six 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.”
Jersey City currently showcases 138 street art murals.
“The JCMAP program held an event for the launch of its website earlier this month, where I was impressed by the community involvement,” said Bloomfield Director of Internet Technology Jean-guy Lauture. “There is untapped potential in Bloomfield in the arts and enrolling in a program like this will benefit the Bloomfield community at large. I was invited to the event by Ralph Andre and shared my outstanding experience with Recreation Director Michael Sceurman, Councilman (Ted) 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.
In new business at the meeting, Township Administrator Matthew Watkins spoke about a resolution authorizing the execution of an energy consulting agreement with EP&G.
“This agreement is just for municipal buildings only and should show a 40% savings on our energy bill for the township,” Watkins said.
A resolution was also read authorizing the use of public property in the Pulaski parking lot as the second phase of water main line replacement begins.
All proposed ordinances on first and second readings, and all consent resolutions were moved.
Next up for the Township Council is a combined Regular and Conference Meeting on Monday, August 19 at 6:30 pm scheduled to take place in the Council Clambers at the Municipal Building.