Arts & Entertainment

With Strings Attached: Summit Public Art Collaborates with The Arc of Union County, Summit YMCA on New Installation

'Big Sister' gently sways in the breeze. Credits: Diane Gallo

SUMMIT, NJ - Summit Public Art, partnering with The Arc of Union County and the Summit YMCA, have debuted a new installation draped high up on the corner of the Summit YMCA featuring an array of strings of beads hung around the building.

The colorful artwork, entitled “Big Sister,” is the creation of sculptor Ellie Murphy, whose works explore the relationship between personal and cultural nostalgia in both materials and method, while at the same time questioning the fine art/traditional craft form border. Murphy, who holds an MFA from Yale, has exhibited across the country and is in many collections.

The thousands of beads used in “Big Sister” were strung with the help of the individuals in the adult day habilitation program with Sights and Sounds at The Arc of Union County, located in Springfield. Board members from Summit Public Art joined in for an afternoon of volunteer outreach.

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Summit Public Art, which contracted with the sculptor on the piece, received the support of Frank’s Tree Service, which provided a bucket truck and workers to actually hang the huge piece. Paul Kieltyka, President and CEO of the Summit YMCA, along with the YMCA Board, enabled the piece to adorn their building.

“Big Sister” joins other new works recently installed in Summit: “Hector’s Return” and “Andromache,” by Emil Alzamora; “Crystal Starfish Bloom,” by Paul Santoleri; and Gints Grinberg’s “Super Moon” globe in the Promenade and his “The Earth Laughs in Flowers” on the Village Green. All the art on display is temporary and will be exchanged for new pieces in six months to a year.

Summit Public Art receives no City funding; all money is raised through grants and private and corporate donations.  For more information, visit or contact

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