Artists Called to Apply for ‘Art Takes the Bench’

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen and the Borough of New Milford announce a call for three visual artists or artist teams to design and paint murals on three public benches in three public parks for the ‘Art Takes the Bench!’ project. The project seeks to introduce residents of New Milford and the borough’s visitors to the talents of local artists.  Through this art, the project also provides visual attractions to create more interesting, inviting open spaces.

‘Art Takes the Bench’ 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.

Artists or Arts Teams Invited to Apply

Each bench serves as a canvas for a painted mural using these themes selected by the community of New Milford to create in a park: library in Williams Field, fish in Hardcastle Pond, and New Milford Spirit in Sutton Place. Three artists or artist teams will be selected and assigned to design, paint, and seal protectively each mural on a bench. The artist or artist team must be available to paint publicly the bench at New Milford’s National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 from approximately 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Artists may submit their applications to the 'Art Takes the Bench Project'.

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation invites artists to submit their applications to the ‘Art Takes the Bench Project’.

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.

Artists: Submit Your Applications

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and either work or live in New Jersey. The project encourages New Milford-based artists to apply. A juried selection committee chooses the artists.  The committee uses the following criteria: creativity of design and prior experience with outdoor murals.  Furthermore, the critiera include artistic excellence and how imaginatively the theme is communicated. Each artist or team selected for the project receives $750 in compensation and a $150 supply budget.

Applicants must log onto, follow the instructions, and also provide the requested information. Furthermore, the artists need to complete and also upload the online application form by June 21, 2023.  The committee plans to announce the artists selected the week of July 10. In addition, the selected artists must attend the mandatory painting event at New Milford’s National Night Out on August 1, 2023.  The project also requires the completion of the benches by August 11, 2023.

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

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