Flood Theater Reveal and Creation Takes Place on August 27

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative invites the community to attend the unveiling of the public artwork, Flood Theater, on Sunday, August 27. While there, they can also participate in the creation of a part of its installation. The event occurs from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is free-of-charge.  The festivities take place in the field next to the Oradell Train Station, located at 400 Maple Avenue across from the Farmer’s Market, in Oradell, New Jersey.

Flood Theater Explores Hackensack River’s Impact

Flood Theater, a public artwork that will be revealed in Oradell, New Jersey, raises awareness about flooding in municipalities along the Hackensack River.

The public artwork, Flood Theater, raises awareness about flooding in municipalities along the Hackensack River.

The installation of Flood Theater commemorates and explores the devastating impact of floods along the Hackensack River in Oradell, New Milford, and nearby municipalities. This artwork also raises awareness about strategies to use to address future flooding and climate change.

The program features a talkback session with artist Juliacks about the process of creating Flood Theater. In addition, artist Lissanne Lake will paint live a mural on a rain barrel. Helpful tips will be provided to residents about what they can do to mitigate flooding. For example, these benefits include using rain barrels. The Oradell Environmental Committee and the New Milford Environmental and Energy Commission will also have tables with information about their work. Furthermore, at the end of the event, one participant gets to take the freshly painted rain barrel home in a give-away through a free raffle.

This public artwork takes a cue from comics and 19th century paper theaters. The audience contributes by creating word-collages operating as voice balloons for the figures and the Flood Theater stage. These word collages, similar to a word poll, highlight community members’ feelings. They also express thoughts about the impact of flooding in Oradell and New Milford. Ultimately, their contributions become a part of this public artwork.

Flood Theater features a metal sculpture. The inspiration for this artwork comes from the North Jersey applique quilts of the 18th and 19th centuries. Artist Juliacks incorporated community members’ stories and also their art created previously at a public workshop into the artwork. Participants made paper cut applique patterns that together tell a story about the flooding. These paper-cut patterns appear in the sculpture.

Artist Juliacks

Juliacks, an award-winning transmedia artist, makes books, films, installations, paintings, tapestries, comics, performances and events. She created fiction across mediums exhibiting, performing, screening and existing in public space, museums, galleries and festivals in New Jersey. In addition, her work appeared in the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Sweden among others. Juliacks also developed the hybrid comic book, Architecture of an Atom. Learn more about her work and art.

This artwork is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the New Jersey Coastal Management Program, Department of Environmental Protection – in partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The Foundation became one of only five organizations in the Garden State selected to receive a grant to create the public artwork, Flood Theater.  This support was co-sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts pairing artists specializing in environmental topics to create art installations in specific sites in the state’s coastal zone.

For further information about Flood Theater or the Foundation’s work, contact nnjcf@nnjcf.org or call 201-568-5608.

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