Saturday, June 6, 2015

Hackensack Creative Team seeking artists for its first public art project

Artists in Hackensack will be turning wooden construction boards covering a burned out building along Main Street into public art.  It is the first project of the new Hackensack Creative Team, a partnership of local merchants, artists and residents.  The partnership is sponsored by the Upper Main Street Alliance, which is working with ArtsBergen to produce the murals.

The themes of the murals will be a vision for a more vibrant, cleaner, greener and healthier Hackensack and the rich cultural history in the city.
ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, this week put out a call  for five artists to work collaboratively on the project, at 76 MainStreet. 

The project, which is funded by the Upper Main Street Alliance, will be the first one of the Hackensack Creative Team. The Hackensack Creative Team is a group of 40 artists, merchants, organizational leaders and public officials working on a creative placemaking plan for the City of Hackensack. Creative placemaking is the integration of arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy. The Creative Team has identified a number of projects that will move forward the Creative Vision Statement it has drafted with the input of various members and sectors of the community. This mural is one such project.
The team is being coached by the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking of Union, NJ.

The project goal is to create a mural that will beautify the neighborhood and property site, engage passers-by, and act as a beacon of the City and the Upper Main Street Alliance’s endorsement of arts and culture as a powerful tool to transform, connect, and serve communities. 

The mural will be painted on 35 connected panels of OSB plywood surrounding the perimeter of the building at 76 Main Street in Hackensack. The mural will be up at the site temporarily (potentially 2 years), but the panels can be used again for other redevelopment sites. The location of the mural is a gateway into the downtown area and is on a busy street, travelled by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. 

A total of 5 artists will be selected. One will be selected to serve as the lead artist, who will oversee the collaboration and cohesion of the mural. Each artist/artist team will be assigned approximately 6-7 panels (each measuring 8 ft(h) x 4 ft(w)) to design and paint his/her vision. 

The content of the mural will reflect the artistic and cultural history, present,  and future of Hackensack. Content can include the depiction of significant past events/artists, musicians, current arts assets/happenings, and/or an interpretation of the future “Creative Vision Statement”. The incorporation of participatory elements that engage the public is encouraged. The design may be painted directly on the boards onsite, or on panels painted offsite that the artist would be responsible for mounting. The Upper Main Street Alliance has allocated a $1,000 budget for supplies and materials for the entire project in addition to $1000 per artist. Total project allocation is $6000. The estimated completion of the project is August 2015.

To learn more about the Hackensack Creative Team, go to:

To learn more about Upper Main Street Alliance, go to:

To learn more about ArtsBergen, and the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation go to:

To learn more about The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking go to: