“Pursuit of Liberty” Mural by Pawn | Photo via Jersey City Mural Arts Program
JERSEY CITY – For the first time, a Jersey City Mural Festival is taking place across Jersey City to celebrate vibrant public art, foster community, and benefit local small businesses affected by the pandemic. The festival features new works by more than 50 artists and is anchored with a new large-scale mural by celebrated artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya. The weekend-long Jersey City Mural Festival kicks off June 5-6, 2021.
“We started our Mural Arts Program seven years ago, and to be here today announcing the inaugural showcase for our esteemed public arts program is a testament to Jersey City as a known destination for international artists as well as the incredibly talented artists who live and work here,” said Mayor Steven M. Fulop.
The Jersey City Mural Arts Program (JCMAP), initiated in 2013, and funded by a Clean Communities Grant, is a Mayor’s Office Initiative that links established and emerging local, national, and international mural artists with property owners city-wide. It is part of an innovative beautification program that reduces graffiti, engages local residents, and aims to transform Jersey City into an outdoor art gallery.
This year’s festival will activate more than 30 walls across Jersey City, highlighting the public mural art with free open areas for restaurant pop-ups and food trucks. Featured artists include Ron English, Queen Andrea, Dragon76, Woes, Boy Kong, Jose Mertz, L’Amour Supreme, local artists Distort, Pawn, Emilio Florentine, Clarence Rich, Will Power, Paws, Mustart, RORSHACH, Joe Waks, and more.
“Art has the ability to soothe grief, amplify joy, and rally people to action,” said Phingbodhipakkiya. “Stand With Us is meant to be a love letter to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Jersey City. You are seen, you are heard, and you have allies beside you.”
Phingbodhipakkiya, a recent NYC Artist in Residence, is renowned for her multidisciplinary public artwork work that confronts Human Rights, specifically addressing the rise in anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 crisis. In her large-scale work for Jersey City Mural Festival, Phingbodhipakkiya will paint the exterior wall of 581 Monmouth Street, near the Holland Tunnel entrance. The mural will be approximately 115 feet wide by 35 feet tall and painted with carbon dioxide capturing paint, Airlite. According to the company, a 10,000 square foot section of Airlite can capture emissions equivalent to 80-160 cars per day.
“We have established Jersey City as a regional anchor for arts and culture in recent years, and an annual festival is a great way to amplify the City’s public art efforts,” said Christine Goodman, Director of Jersey City’s Department of Cultural Affairs.
The festival will offer limited edition Beer Cans with Ghosthawk Brewing, with all proceeds benefiting the NJHRA’s Beverage and Food Employee Crisis Support Fund (BFECS).