Unveiling of Works of Art in Downtown Bayonne: City officials joined artists and others for the unveiling of seven works of art that were painted on utility boxes and former fire alarm boxes from 5th Street to 9th Street. Pictured here is one of the paintings, Aquarium, by Gary Wynans. It is located on Cottage Street, slightly east of Broadway. Pictured left to right: Council Member At-Large Juan Perez, Second Ward Council Member Sal Gullace, Mayor Jimmy Davis, City Council President Sharon Ashe Nadrowski, Mr. Wynans, and First Ward Council Member Tom Cotter.
Recently, local artists and City officials unveiled a series of seven works of art that are located on utility boxes and former fire alarm boxes between 5th Street and 9th Street. The art program is administered by Bayonne’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ).
Speaking at a gathering at the Bridge Art Gallery, Mayor Davis thanked all of the artists for their work. He also pointed to the growing popularity of the arts in the community. He cited the large crowds at Bayonne’s Summer Sounds concert series as proof of the increasing support for the arts in Bayonne. Mayor Davis said that “talented and theatrical people are here. All they needed was for someone to say, ‘Express yourself.’” Mayor Davis described Bayonne as “a special place, and that it’s going to become even more special.” He said, “We are Bayonne. We can say it with pride again.” He concluded his remarks by saying, “We have a lot more work to do.”
UEZ Coordinator Terrence Malloy thanked the Hudson County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs for funding the art program. Koren Frankfort, the Acting Director of that division, credited Bayonne resident Bill LaRosa, the former Director of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, for his enthusiastic support for the utility box art. She congratulated gallery owner Cheryl Mack and the participating artists for the work they have done in Bayonne.
Malloy credited Jersey City’s Central Avenue Improvement District for developing the idea for utility box art in a commercial area. He thanked the UEZ staff and BCB Community Bank for helping to make the program possible. Malloy expressed gratitude to Verizon for allowing art to be painted on some of its utility boxes, and to Conrail for allowing a mural to be painted on its railroad overpass property.
Citing the role of Mayor Jimmy Davis, Malloy said that it took “a person of vision to turn Bayonne around.” Malloy described art and music as being part of that vision. In the near future, Malloy said, the art portion of Mayor Davis’s vision will be expanded to include more utility box art and statues in commercial areas.
A crowd of about 100 went with City officials and artists for the unveilings of each new work of street art. There were seven works of art on utility boxes and decommissioned fire alarm boxes.
1) A painting by Tiffany Dancy called Dance of a Beautiful Friendship graces a utility box at 5th Street and Broadway.
2) A painting by Jeff Ware (also known as Klone Killa) called Day Glow Djinn’s covers an old fire alarm box at 7th Street and Broadway.
3) A painting by Maria Lupianez depicts a little girl holding a popsicle. That painting is featured on a utility box at Broadway and Cottage Street.
4) A second painting, Serenity Now, by Jeff Ware (also known as Klone Killa) brightens an old fire alarm box at Broadway and Cottage Street.
5) Aquarium, a painting by Gary Wynans, depicts fish on a utility box on Cottage Street.
6) A photographic painting by Stephanie Petersen depicts a locomotive in front of the old 8th Street Station. That painting is located on a utility box at 8th Street and Broadway.
7) The Archway, a painting by Samantha Llanes, depicts local buildings. It is painted on a utility box at 9th Street and Broadway.
The art project also includes a new mural by Billy Zyblut on a railroad overpass. The Zyblut work serves as a welcoming gateway to the Bergen Point neighborhood. His new mural replaced an advertisement for the Burger King restaurant that used to be located in the 8th Street neighborhood.