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Visual Artists Wanted for "Barrels O'Art" in Hackensack

originally published: 07/15/2023

Visual Artists Wanted for "Barrels O

(HACKENSACK, NJ) -- The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's ArtsBergen has announced a call for ten visual artists and/or artist teams to design and paint murals on ten rain barrels in the City of Hackensack.  Each rain barrel serves as a canvas for a painted mural.  The selected artists paint themes on the barrels compiled from a survey distributed earlier to residents of Hackensack.  Examples of those themes include animals, fantasy, architecture, cultural diversity, environmental protection, education, sports/athletics and the City of Hackensack in the future.

With a 2023 AARP Community Challenge Flagship Grant, the rain barrel public art and education project, Barrels O' Art, launches.  This activity comprises a part of the Partners for Places Green Infrastructure and Environmental Justice for Flood Mitigation project undertaken in partnership with the City of Hackensack and Greater Bergen Community Action.  Barrels O' Art involves artists painting rain barrels that will be displayed temporarily in Carver Park, beautifying this flood-prone neighborhood and educating the public about flooding.

Furthermore, this temporary art installation promotes the community kick-off meeting for the Green Infrastructure and Environmental Justice for Flood Mitigation project.  This project encourages environmental stewardship and the beneficial use of rain barrels in the City of Hackensack.  In addition, residents of Hackensack will have an opportunity to receive a rain barrel through a free raffle.

From September to the end of October 2023, temporary installation of the barrels takes place in Carver Park in Hackensack, New Jersey.  These barrels raise awareness through the arts about ways to prevent future flooding, issues around environmental justice, and green infrastructure solutions such as rain barrels.

Supporters of the project include The Funders Network, AARP, Valley Bank, and The Rotary Club of Hackensack.

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Application Requirements

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and either work or live in New Jersey.  Hackensack-based artists are encouraged to apply.  A juried selection committee chooses the artists using the following criteria: 1. artistic excellence  2. creativity of design  3. how imaginatively the theme is communicated 4. prior experience with outdoor murals.

Each artist or team selected for the project also receives $700 in compensation and a $200 supply budget.  For complete guidelines, go to

Applicants must log onto, follow the instructions, and provide the requested information.  The online application form must be completed and uploaded to by Monday, August 7, 2023.

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups to improve community life.  Through collaborative partnerships, regional problems are identified and resolved.  Opportunities are discovered and explored by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services and resources.  The Foundation's primary areas of work are the environment, arts and culture, public health, education, civic engagement and philanthropy.

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative, a regional arts alliance, works with various stakeholders.  These stakeholders encompass artists, arts organizations, businesses and municipal leaders, who use the arts to shape the social, physical, cultural, and economic identity of communities.  Creative placemaking, a community-led, arts-driven approach, is used to increase vibrancy, spur economic development, and build 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 has partnered with multiple municipalities facilitating creative teams, developing public art and creative placemaking plans, and directing and managing public art projects to preserve and express community culture.

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