HACKENSACK, NJ – A colorful mural paying homage to the city’s cultural roots is now complete.
World-renowned artist Damien Mitchell finished the public art display on April 24, after more than 120 hours transforming an empty wall on Demarest Place, according to Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.
Now, the side of the Alexander Anderson Real Estate Group building on Main Street is filled with scenes that depict a more contemporary history of Hackensack. The design, which was proposed by Mitchell, includes images of local jazz great John Coltrane and Superman.
A community-wide celebration to mark the completion of the mural is in the works also, De Laurentis said.
Mitchell, an Australian native, was announced as the winner earlier this year. Mitchell has created murals in several locations, including Hartford, Connecticut, and Frankfurt, Germany. He also has exhibits in Manhattan, as well as created live murals for the 2016 Major League Baseball AllStar game and the MTV Video Music Awards.
The public art display is an effort coordinated by the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation ArtsBergen initiative, the Hackensack Creative Arts Team, the Main Street Business Alliance, the City of Hackensack and the Alexander Anderson Real Estate Group.
Last year, a selection committee made up of representatives from the groups issued a call to artists to submit designs for the mural using one of four themes (the city’s musical history, the Lenni Lenape Indians, key events in the city’s history or a contemporary theme of the artist’s choice).
As for future types of art projects around the city, the public is being asked for input on what they’d like to see, De Laurentis said.
“Addressing the needs and issues of the community via arts and culture spur the most meaningful creative placemaking projects,” she said. “Community investment in the inception and implementation of projects creates civic pride and connection to the city, which is one of Creative Hackensack’s goals,” she said.
To submit ideas, contact Creative Hackensack via its Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/creativehackensack), email email@example.com log onto www.downtownhackensack.org/arts/creative-hackensack.