Hoboken financial prudence? Art box murals over necessities?

Hoboken financial prudence? Art box murals over necessities?

Hey – we all dig “artwork” to some extent. Not saying anything is wrong with it. However, does anyone doubt Hoboken’s financial prudence with this recent “art box mural project?”

They’re giving “artists” nearly $20k to paint utility boxes around town.

Back in the day – an artist would do this for FREE for the exposure they’d get. Why must they be compensated in 2020?

While 20 grand is a drop in the bucket overall – surely those funds could be used for something practical instead. Plus you get 1000 feel-good “memes” in your social media stream on a daily basis already.

Boy, wouldn’t it be great if Hoboken once again had a sensible economic administration? Remember that when you feel the pain of your quarterly ransom property tax bill has to be paid. What a waste.

hoboken art box mural project

Community: Hoboken Arts Advisory Committee launches art box mural project

(via City of Hoboken)

The Hoboken Arts Advisory Committee today launched the “Art Box Mural Project” to beautify 15 utility boxes along Washington Street. The City of Hoboken, along with the committee, invites all artists who live or work in Hoboken to submit art proposals reflecting the theme of “equality and inclusion” to be painted on the utility boxes. 15 selections will be based on relevance to the theme, quality of work, and proven experience with similar projects. Artists without previous public art experience are also encouraged to apply.

“Hoboken is committed to beautifying our public spaces and supporting our local artists, and I’m thrilled the arts committee is undertaking this quality of life initiative,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “The theme of equality and inclusion selected by the committee for the murals is an important one, as Hoboken will always be a fair and welcoming place where all are treated with respect. Thank you to all seven members of the arts committee for their continued efforts on this important project for our City.”

“The Arts Advisory Committee is very glad to see this project launch,” said Chris O’Connor, the Chair of the Hoboken Arts Advisory Committee. “This is the first initiative our body has implemented, and we feel the subject matter “equality and inclusion” reflects a core value of our city. This is also an opportunity to beautify and create interest to a very utilitarian object that is found up and down Washington Street. We are excited to have a project that involves so many artists. Our community will enjoy new work from 15 artists who live or work in Hoboken. We are eager to see submissions and hope many artists will apply.”

Selected artists will receive a stipend of $1,250, which includes artist’s fees and materials for painting the utility box. All submissions should be “family-friendly,” and can indicate a preferred location of the 15 utility boxes. The committee invites interested artists to complete the following application by clicking the following link, along with a brief letter of interest: http://www.hobokennj.gov/muralproject. Artists have up until August 11, 2020, to submit applications.

The seven-member Hoboken Arts Advisory Committee, chaired by Chris O’Connor, was formed last year as a result of an Executive Order signed by Mayor Bhalla to help select and recommend art projects to beautify the public spaces in the City of Hoboken. As a part of the executive order, the City dedicates 1% of all city bond ordinances to fund the art projects recommended by the committee and approved by the Mayor and City Council.

Last year, artist Ricardo Roig painted the first public art project utilizing the fund, the Michael Chang mural above the tennis courts adjacent to John F. Kennedy Stadium.

Additional information on utility box project:

What does the committee mean by equity and inclusion?

Equity is fair-mindedness and egalitarianism, decency, and balance. Inclusion en­compasses all, leaving no one or group marginalized or on the fringe. An equita­ble and inclusive city is one where the inherent value and dignity of all people are recognized. An inclusive city promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members.

About The Hoboken Arts Advisory Committee

The Hoboken Arts Advisory Committee is a group of local citizens–artists, merchants, organizational leaders, and public officials–working to bring innovative, interesting, and beautiful public art to the City of Hoboken. The purpose of The Arts Advisory Committee is to act as an advisory board to the Mayor and city administration relating to all questions involving public art and the City of Hoboken Art Program.

The Committee endeavors to find public art that will bring enjoyment to both visitors and residents of Hoboken and enhance the visual environment of the city. A commitment to bringing artwork that embraces and cele­brates the City’s rich culture and diversity which is paramount to the Committee’s work. The Committee believes the utility box project integrates arts and culture into the Mile Square and will help build community and promote economic vitality in a meaningful way.

For more information, guidelines, timeline, and addresses of utility boxes, please visit hobokennj.gov/muralproject.

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