The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative invites the public to attend and view the creation and installation of the ‘Where’s Wally’ ground mural and decal in the Borough of Oradell’s Walter Schirra Park on Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The park, named after Oradell native and NASA astronaut, Walter Schirra, lies at the intersection of Oradell Avenue and Kinderkamack Road.
While there, visitors may also shop for fresh produce and vegetables and other food products in the Oradell Farmers Market. In addition, parking is available in the post office parking lot, located across from the park. In case of inclement weather, the installation will take place the following Sunday on September 26.
The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation collaborates with the Borough of Oradell to implement and install the interactive design on Walter Schirra Park’s sidewalks. This creates an engaging, visually pleasing space. 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.
Volunteers from Oradell may join the fun and help paint the outdoor art installation. Local artist Nina Tsur, who designed the public art, will also work with volunteers to paint ‘Where’s Wally?’ on September 19. Volunteers may sign up for either of these painting sessions: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition, they should have some painting and/or drawing experience and wear comfortable clothing that may become paint stained. Those interested may also sign up to participate in the art fun by filling out these forms located online and emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 16th. Inquiries about the installation and the volunteer opportunity may be sent to email@example.com.
Creative placemaking projects also capture the community’s vision, input, and preferences for the look and use of their public places. ArtsBergen and the Borough canvassed Oradell residents on social media asking them to identify the theme they wanted to see in Walter Schirra Park. One of the themes expressed was exploration and space. See Artist Nina Tsur’s incorporation of this theme at the installation event on September 19.
The Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative, a regional arts alliance, works with various stakeholders. These stakeholders encompass artists, arts organizations, businesses and municipal leaders. They also use the arts to shape the social, physical, cultural, and economic identity of communities. Creative placemaking, a community-led, arts-driven approach, helps to increase vibrancy and spur economic development. This approach also builds capacity among residents to take ownership of their communities.
ArtsBergen is the only initiative in Bergen County, New Jersey offering a range of services in creative placemaking. The initiative partners with multiple municipalities facilitating creative teams, developing public art and creative placemaking plans. In addition, ArtsBergen assists with directing and managing public art projects to preserve and express community culture.