State Senator Patrick Diegnan praised all who collaborated on the latest TRANSITional Art Project, which has brought to life the work of four Middlesex County-based artists at the New Brunswick Station.
The creations of artists RH Doaz, Kate Eggleston, Pieche Waite and Hailey Potter beautify the New Brunswick Station with fiber-based art on external columns, photographic prints in the main waiting area, two-dimensional illustrations along the passenger tunnel and graphics on nearby bus shelters.
The large-scale artwork was officially unveiled Friday and will remain on display at the New Brunswick Station until late November as the latest installment of the TRANSITional Art Project, which is a partnership between NJ TRANSIT and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Both agencies collaborated with the Art Institute of Middlesex County to create the exhibition at the New Brunswick Station, entitled “Take a Breath.”
The TRANSITional Art Project provides temporary art in transit spaces with each exhibition running for three months with the goal of providing opportunities for local artists to showcase their work while creating a more beautiful and engaging space for commuters and the surrounding community.
Initially launched as a pilot program in 2019 at Newark Penn Station, the TRANSITional Art Project has also exhibited artists’ work at the Trenton Transit Center and at Atlantic City’s bus and rail terminals.
“This is a celebration of what our state is all about,” Diegnan, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, said during a private reception celebrating the featured artists at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center on Friday night.
In addition to praising the artists, Diegnan credited the leadership of NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the Arts Institute of Middlesex County with bringing the project to life.
“The New Brunswick rail station is a key transit hub for our customers on the Northeast Corridor, so it’s only appropriate that it be decorated with original art created by artists from the same area,” NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett said.
“The New Jersey State Council on the Arts has been a great partner over the years in helping us bring this cultural experience to our customers at stations across our system.”
NJ TRANSIT and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts intend to continue providing new art exhibitions to other stations throughout the state.
“The State Arts Council is very proud of our ongoing partnership with NJ TRANSIT,” said Danielle Bursk, Director of Community Partnerships and Artist Services for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
“Bringing unique public art opportunities to New Jersey artists and engaging art encounters to residents, commuters, and visitors alike is a perfect example of public service agencies working together to infuse arts and culture in our daily lives in innovative ways.”
The Arts Institute of Middlesex County has promoted projects and programs that make a significant contribution to the arts, while providing public programing that celebrates Middlesex County’s rich talent.
“Through collaborative partnerships, Middlesex County has become a beacon of artistic and cultural achievements,” County Commissioner Chanelle Scott McCullum said. “Not only is this partnership with NJ TRANSIT and their TRANSITional Art Program an exciting opportunity to showcase local artists, but it is a unique way to bring art to our community.”
New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill, Middlesex County Commissioner Deputy Director Shanti Narra, NJ TRANSIT Assistant Director of Facility Signage and Transit Arts Programs Christine Blanco, Mason Gross School of the Arts Dean Jason Geary and Middlesex County Commissioner Claribel Azcona-Barber were among the dignitaries who attended Friday night’s reception.
Diegnan credited Lindsay Erben, director of the Arts Institute of Middlesex County, and her entire team with breathing life into the “Take a Breath” exhibit. Erben said the institute has plans for two pilot sites in 2023 and looks forward to expanding its impact over the next several years.
“(Diegnan) challenged the Arts Institute and the county to install artwork throughout Middlesex County’s transit system,” Erben said. “So, with the help of Christine (Blanco) and Danielle (Bursk) and their teams, as well as the (Middlesex) County Department of Transportation, we are proud to say today that we are embarking on a project to do just that.
“Thank you, Senator, for inspiring us and keeping us all on track.”