UNION, NJ - The Township of Union through the County of Union’s Art Outside the Box program, is proud to announce its call to artists for submissions for the Beautiful Bench Project, aimed at beautifying three public benches in the Special Improvement District of the Township of Union.

“We are proud that the County of Union has decided to move forward with the Beautiful Bench Project,” said Manuel Figueiredo, Mayor of the Township of Union.  “Projects like these not only engage those who appreciate art, but also invoke a sense of pride from artists and residents alike.”

Public benches at the following locations are part of the project:

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•     In front of Van Gogh’s Ear on Stuyvesant Ave.

•     In front of ConnectOne Bank, on Morris Ave.

•     In front of Killer Vegan on Stuyvesant Ave. 

“The Beautiful Bench Project in the Township of Union is a unique public art opportunity that makes local artist’s work accessible to everyone,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen.  “The Freeholder Board is proud to support community efforts that help integrate the arts into non-traditional venues that expand and diversify public exposure to the arts.”

Artists are asked to submit renderings of what they would paint on each bench and may enter up to three designs for consideration.

Submissions will be judged by a panel and the top three will then be chosen to be reproduced on fiberboard which will then be permanently affixed to the bench.

Artists will be provided with all pertinent supplies and will be responsible for painting the fiberboard to reproduce their artwork. The selected pieces will be maintained on the benches for one to three years and the artists will receive an honorarium for their contributions.

The Art Outside the Box initiative was started in 2015 by former Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh. The program’s first endeavor was a traffic control box-art program that covered boxes in Elizabeth, Linden, Rahway and Plainfield.

“I am so proud that my colleagues have sought to continue this program into 2016,” said Freeholder Jalloh, a Union resident. “In a time where employment in the creative fields is up almost 3%, it is clear that there is a mounting value being placed on the arts and the effects they have on host communities and the economy.”

Deadline for submissions for the Beautiful Bench Project is July 30, 2016. Submissions can be made through standard mail or via the web form at uniontownship.com.  The completed benches will be unveiled in September during Mayors Weekend.

The Beautiful Bench Project is being administered through the Township of Union with sponsorship and support from the County of Union.

For additional information visit uniontownship.com, or contact Natalie Pineiro, Public Information Officer, Township of Union at 908-851-5096 or via email atnpineiro@uniontownship.com.