A new exhibit that celebrates the history, aesthetic value, and daily operations of the Hoboken Ferry Terminal was recently installed after a roughly four-year effort. Currently on display in the ferry slips, the art works will likely become a permanent fixture in the historic building.
New York City-based artists Andrew Ginzel and Kristin Jones say that from across the Hudson “splashes” of light can be seen emanating from the 190 individual pieces that currently adorn the ferry slips.
Their work, “Fluent,” is a celebration of the tides of the surrounding Hudson, the ebb and flow of the commuters constantly moving in and out of the facility, and the history of the landmark building itself.
“We were very interested in the water and the sense of the intangibles and the phenomenon of the Hudson.” – Kristin Jones
The terminal originally opened in 1907, according to the Associated Press.
“We were very interested in the water and the sense of the intangibles and the phenomenon of the Hudson,” said Jones. “The work is really a response to this place.”
“Fluent” is comprised of many elements, including horizontal rings suspended from above each ferry slip, an array of stainless steel discs, a vertical tower that indicates the rise and fall of the tides of the Hudson, and more. The discs and rings respond to the wind and vibrations from the ships and commuters.
“It’s really not about any single, egotistical isolated artwork,” Jones continued. “It’s more about an awareness and experience of [the terminal].”
Ginzel also said that “Fluent” represents the history behind the building.
“It’s a building that has been here many years,” said Ginzel. “The building has gone through its own fluent cycle.”
The project was commissioned by the New Jersey Transit Arts Program, with assistance from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Funding was made possible by the Federal Transportation Administration, according to a news release.
Jones and Ginzel said that following a public review, they were asked to create a preliminary proposal for the project. The work then received feedback from engineers, architects, and others.
Jones said that the work was originally intended to be displayed in the waiting area, but plans were changed so that the project could be incorporated within the wind-filled ferry slips.
“The installation was a complicated affair,” said Ginzel, adding that engineers had to work in the August heat to install many of the elements. “[They] did some preliminary work by drilling and attaching brackets.”
Jones and Ginzel have contributed to several public works projects in the area, including projects at the Brooklyn Bridge, World Trade Center Subway, City Hall Park, and the Stuyvesant High School.
Based out of Bleecker Street, the pair met in 1981 and have worked together since 1985. They first began putting together large-scale projects in 1989.
“We’ve been collaborating many years on a huge variety of public buildings,” said Jones, who works at the Rhode Island School of Design. “It’s exciting to enter situations completely unknown to you and discover the landscape, the technology, and the people.”
According to the artists’ website, Jones and Ginzel have won several awards, including the Rome Prize, Indo-American Fellowship, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, a Bessie, Art Matters, Yaddo, MacDowell, Bellagio: the Rockefeller Foundation, the Fulbright Program and twice the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more on the artists, visit http://jonesginzel.com.
Stephen LaMarca may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.