“Art Takes the Bench!” to Go Live in New Milford

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen invites the public to watch three artists paint live themed designs on benches in “Art Takes the Bench!” in New Milford on National Night Out. The fun takes place on Tuesday, August 1 from 3:30 p.m. through dusk in Kennedy Field behind the New Milford Borough Hall, located at 930 River Road in New Milford, New Jersey. The field may be reached by turning onto Robert K. Chester Way off of River Road. The event is free-of-charge and open to the public.

Artists will paint live in "Art Takes the Bench!" on August 1 in New Milford, New Jersey.

Watch artists paint live in “Art Takes the Bench!” on August 1 in New Milford, New Jersey.

Artists Named for “Art Takes the Bench”

During June, ArtsBergen and the Borough of New Milford announced a call to visual artists to submit their applications to design and paint murals on three public benches in three public parks. Afterward, a committee comprised of community members representative of New Milford selected these three artists to create the design for each bench using themes selected by the borough’s residents:

  • Emily Gilman Beezley – Something Fishy,
  • Fiona Chinkan – The Spirit of New Milford, and
  • Shani – Stream of Consciousness / To Read is to Dream.

“Art Takes the Bench!” introduces New Milford’s residents and the borough’s visitors to artists’ talents, while also providing visual attractions that create more interesting, inviting open spaces. The project also seeks to accomplish these five goals:

  • to beautify the community of New Milford by incorporating public art into open spaces,
  • to engage residents and passersby by providing attractive, art-filled seating areas,
  • to endorse arts and culture, as a powerful tool to build a stronger community and enliven public spaces,
  • to make public art accessible to people with visual challenges, and
  • to provide art-based work opportunities for local artists showcasing their talents.

On each bench, artists create a plaque in braille describing the imagery of the artwork.  This makes the art accessible to people who are blind or visually challenged. The artist or artist team also provides a short detailed written description of their mural for translation into braille.

This program is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Bergen County Division of Historic & Cultural Affairs from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

For further information, contact artsbergen@nnjcf.org.

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