Jersey City, NJ –On October 21st, the Central Avenue Special Improvement District (CASID) held a press conference to unveil two new murals designed by local artists Richard La Rovere and Megan Gulick. Their uplifting pieces are located on the sidewalls of .99 Power (387 Central Avenue/ Charles St.) and Daisy Cleaners (426 Central Avenue/ South Street) bringing further arts enrichment to the Avenue and Heights neighborhood.
The ¾ mile Central Avenue business district already had three murals within its limits but CASID is eager to add more. Thanks to assistance from the County through the Local Arts Programming Grant, Central Avenue was able to continue a long-term goal of adding “art
destination” to Central Avenue’s distinct resume.
To implement this program, the CASID issued a “Request for Proposal” out to the artist community in search of mural designs that would complement the Avenue. The designs submitted were presented to several business/ property owners for their consideration and eventual selection. The CASID did receive a number of submissions but only two were chosen in this round.
“The addition of these works boosts morale within the business district,” said CASID President Michael Yun. He continued, “The growth of arts in the Heights will help energize our district as it adds a unique feel to the shopping experience. We thank the artists for sharing their talents and the participating businesses for lending their wall space and contributing significantly to Jersey City’s artistic tradition.”
Each new mural reflects the surrounding Heights neighborhood and were carefully thought out by the artist making sure their design stood out. La Rovere’s mural, “A Salute to Central Avenue,” depicts a contemporary bustling Central Avenue scene and will serve as a time capsule for the future. His ability to reproduce building facades with such fine details allows the piece to truly make a statement.
Gulick’s piece, “Urban Inner Peace Zone,” is a spunky design. With vivid colors and unique characters she compliments many signature landmarks in the community including Jersey City’s Reservoir # 3 and the famous Bear and Buffalo statues found in Leonard J. Gordon Park (Manhattan Ave and Kennedy Blvd).
Without a doubt, the Heights is a close-knit neighborhood that takes much pride in the appearance of its main street community. The addition of these murals is not only a way to continue arts enrichment but to also discourage graffiti and provide an outlet for the community to celebrate the rich culture in Jersey City.
Organized by the Central Avenue S.I.D. Management Corp and Councilman Ward D, BIll Gaughan, this program was made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. DeGise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Another round of mural installations will be taking place in the summer of 2011 with an unveiling at the next Jersey City Artist Studio Tour scheduled for October 1st and 2nd. An RFP method will be again employed to partner with local artists with businesses.
The CASID would like to also thank the artist organizations that partnered with us to carry out this project including the Jersey City Pro Arts, Jersey City Museum, The Distillery Gallery and Artspace, Art House Productions, and Heights Artist Initiative.
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