Contact: David Diaz, CASID District Manager
Jersey City, NJ – On Thursday October 24th, the Central Avenue SID Management Corporation proudly unveils “The Dream” mural on the sidewall of Rite Aid Pharmacy at 337 Central Avenue alongside City and County officials. The new mural, by Jersey City artist Ed “T.DEE” Morris, covers approximately 2,250 square feet (150 feet long and 15 feet high) of wall space along Lincoln Street and draws on a Trompe L’oeil technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that depicted objects exist in three dimensions.
This mural was made possible by the Central Avenue S.I.D. Management Corp. and funded in part by Rite Aid Pharmacy, 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.
“Art should be part of our county landscape-not simply locked away in museums,” said County Executive Tom DeGise. “This gorgeous new mural is an example of our continuing policy to bring art into the community throughout Hudson County.”
Ed Morris is a lifelong resident of the Jersey City Heights and has an international following as a professional artist. In designing the mural, he said “I’ve thought hard about this and have decided the most humble approach would be to create a mural so grand and beautiful that it surpasses individual dreams, and touches the hearts of all its viewers inspiring them to dream in their own unique way. All the figures will appear to be emerging from a sort of dream-like reality from within the wall itself. Portions of the exiting wall will appear to have large sections of bricks missing as the butterflies, flowers, and figures float from within, and spill out onto Lincoln Street.”
“Aside of its being an incredible piece of art and its positive message to neighborhood children pursuing their own dreams, this mural is simply fun,” says Heights Councilman Michael Yun. “The artist nails the Tompe L’oeil technique as many local residents, visitors and Central Avenue shoppers have already admitted to being fooled by the optical illusions in the mural.”
“The Dream” actually replaces an older mural at the same location known as the “Journey” which has graced the main street neighborhood for fifteen years. The wall required a significant amount of maintenance work last year and the old mural was not salvageable. Instead of losing the neighborhood landmark, Rite Aid Pharmacy officials teamed up with the local business community via the Central Avenue SID program to bring new public art to Hudson County. Staff from the Central Avenue Rite Aid Store even helped paint the mural.
“Rite Aid is pleased to participate in this gift of art for the community to enjoy for years to come,” says Paul Bennie, Regional Vice President New Jersey. “We are a proud member of the community in Jersey City and thankful to be a part of this beautification project.”
Central Avenue’s outdoor art galley has grown since 2006 when the CASID first started commissioning pubic art installations within the shopping district. “The Dream” mural now joins several other art projects along Central Avenue including Chakaia Booker’s “Wave” sculpture, seven painted traffic boxes, and other new murals “Kio Too,” “Urban Inner Peace Zone” and “Salute to Central Avenue.” These extraordinary examples of completely open and public art and the new Riverview Arts District zoning in the neighborhood prove that the Heights is quickly becoming a destination for public art in New Jersey.
“Public art can rejuvenate a neighborhood if done correctly,” said Sanford Fishman, President of the CASID. “It brings a new energy to the shopping district and surrounding neighborhood. It is Creative Placemaking which has become important to the experience and benefits of shopping local. Thanks to artist Ed Morris for sharing his time and talents with the rest of Hudson County.”
During the three month long mural installation process, Morris happily attended to anyone who took an interest in the mural and he became an instant attraction in the shopping district. His attentiveness gave neighborhood residents, children and visitors a reason to always remember the summer of 2013.
Visit the Central Avenue shopping district to see and experience the entire “Dream” mural and remember to bring your camera.