Newark, NJ – The Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway Business Improvement District (BID) is proud to announce the launch of a new light pole banner art program that aims to raise awareness and encourage safe behaviors to increase safety among pedestrians and increase walkability along the Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway corridor.
Funded by a $5,000 grant from Prudential, the public art program features colorful and creative banners designed by Newark-based artists that display messages such as “Cross at the Light,” “Love is coming home safely,” and “Newark Safety Matters.” The pilot program will include about 20 banners installed in and around Calabro Square, where Bloomfield Avenue and North 8th Street meet.
PJ Calello, President of the BID, said, “We chose Calabro Square because St. Francis Church, Newark Schools Stadium, and two very active bus stops are all destinations that connect at that spot,” Calello added, “I was thrilled when I saw the submissions we received, the artists came up with some really thoughtful and creative designs.”
The banner art program is part of the BID’s ongoing efforts to enhance the quality of life and enhance public safety along the 2-mile stretch of Bloomfield Avenue and Lower Broadway that runs through Newark’s North Ward.
“Pedestrian safety awareness is a real priority for us in the North Ward, especially for our children and seniors,” said North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr., adding, “I’m so proud of the work that we’re getting done through our two Business Improvement Districts in the North Ward—the banner art program is another great example of how we’re able to leverage public and private investment to focus on the things that matter most to our community.”
The BID selected five local artists to participate in the program through a competitive application process. The artists were asked to submit original designs that reflect the theme of pedestrian safety and were encouraged to apply their own artistic vision and style.
The BID’s Public Art Committee reviewed the submissions and chose the finalists based on their creativity, quality, and relevance. Each finalist received a financial award ranging from $250 to $1000. The selected artists are:
- Jacqueline Ortiz
- Jasmine White
- Gabriel Ribeiro
- Melissa Marshall
- Pedro Mieles
Danielle Russell, Director of Placemaking for Commercial District Services, the Bloomfield-based firm that oversees the administration of both BIDs in the North Ward, indicated, “We’re excited for the artists and the community— the new banners will be displayed on the avenue in the next few weeks, but the artwork can also be viewed online on our website at www.balbabid.org.”