Beautifying Central Avenue

More art installations come to the Heights

John Guevara “Be Water” at 318 Central Avenue is the 21st mural installation within the Central Avenue shopping district.
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John Guevara “Be Water” at 318 Central Avenue is the 21st mural installation within the Central Avenue shopping district.

The Central Avenue SID Management Corporation announced five new art installations as part of Central Avenue’s Outdoor Art Gallery.

This means that in 2020 seven art pieces will be installed along the Heights’ main thoroughfare.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Central Avenue added two new traffic box designs.

Artist Michael Cooper and his wife Diana added “Together Again and Again” located off of Central Avenue and Bower Street which signifies unity between communities.

“We painted a traffic box, but the people gave it the meaning we intended. That is, people being connected, sharing, and helping one another,” said Cooper.  “Another observation was that the people were wearing their face masks – the caring for one another was evident.”

Artist Brianna McMaster added inspiring words of affirmation on her street art “I Am” located off Central Avenue and Thorne Street.

The artwork is meant to bring positive energy to those walking on the avenue.

Now, more large murals are on the way.

Artist John Guevara’s piece “Be Water” located on the Dunkin Donuts at 318 Central Ave. will be the 21st mural installation within the Central Avenue shopping district.

“Painting ‘Be Water’ is quite therapeutic… it‘s rewarding when passersby stop to show their appreciation and chat,” he said.

Other murals in the process of being completed include the piece “I Heart JC” by local artists Derek Tunia and Jeff Rose at Pizza Master at 274 Central Ave.

Also in the works is “Vivid Flora” by artists Simone Bailey Campbell and Kyle Campbell which will be at Cocoa Bakery at 475 Central Ave.

“Artists continue to transform our main street community into an outdoor art gallery,” said Sanford Fishman, CASID president and longtime pharmacist at Bond Drugs. “The artwork inspires, ignites thought, and can be a temporary escape from 2020 for many of our residents, visitors, and shoppers alike. Our business community is happy to welcome new art for all to enjoy in our district.”

Earlier this year, Paws21 added “Heights” located on Oaxaca Food Mart at 421 Central Ave.

This mural is designed to highlight the importance of education and unlocking our potential to reach the greatest of heights according to CASID.

Cabrera’s traffic box design “Urban Totem” located off Franklin Street and Central Avenue was also finished this year. The lighthearted piece attempts to remind people of the fact that life, although amazingly complicated at times, should be enjoyed.

The instillations are part of mural program managed by the CASID through a partnership with the city and grant funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

To learn more about the mural program, visit www.JCHeights.com.

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.