WESTFIELD, NJ — A temporary art installation headed to Westfield earned high praise as it was discussed at a meeting of Downtown Westfield Corporation Wednesday.
The installation set for the Westfield Train Station parking lot will have about 15 illuminated seesaws placed in the downtown during the doldrums of winter.
“It’s a way to bring … warmth and light to downtown during a very quiet time,” said Erin Ben-Hayon, who chairs the DWC’s promotions committee. “It’s also a nice way to support the arts.”
The art installation has previously appeared in cities across the nation, including in New York City, where it had caught the eye of DWC Chairwoman Patricia Hanigan.
“It will definitely make Westfield a destination,” said Hanigan, who noted that the installation — called “Impulse” — is typically found in larger metropolises.
At the DWC’s Zoom meeting, Hayon referenced the website for the project.
“Impulse is a publicly activated light and sound experience,” the site says. “The project uses the idea of repetitive units of subtle light and sound that can be played by the public to create a temporal, ever‐changing event. Impulse embodies ideas of serialism, repetition and variation to produce zones of intensity and calm.”
The art installation comes with a $28,000 price tag for Westfield’s DWC, of which $25,000 is being paid for with a state grant, said Bob Zuckerman, executive director of the DWC. He said the installation is tentatively set to come to town March 5 – 21.
Zuckerman said word of the installation has already drawn interest from his colleagues on the board of Downtown NJ, including those from Rahway, Pompton Lakes and Scotch Plains, who indicated they would take a ride to Westfield to visit the seesaws.
“I told them about it, that we might get this, and they we’re all like ‘I’m coming,’” he said.
Also Wednesday, Zuckerman outlined priorities for this year, including the likelihood of a redesigned website, more improvements to the pedestrian plaza on Quimby Street and the potential return of summer events, including an outdoor concert series and a 5K race that rewards runners with pizza.
“We are looking to bring back the Sweet Sounds Downtown, if we can, and we are going to talk about the Pizza Run,” Zuckerman said. “I’ve heard from people on both sides of that issue as to whether that could happen again.”
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