Town-Gown Artistic Initiatives Beautify Bloomfield Township

Reindeer Window Art

Pop-up art galleries and a springtime banner project are the latest town-gown initiatives between Bloomfield College and the Bloomfield Center Alliance (BCA), the business improvement district organization that manages the downtown Bloomfield business district on behalf of the township.

“The Bloomfield Center Alliance has had a long-standing symbiotic relationship with Bloomfield College. The results of our collaborative projects are always inspired, and these latest projects funded by a grant from the state’s Main Street New Jersey program, are being celebrated in the same vein,” said BCA Executive Director Ollyn J. Lettman.

As part of the BCA’s new Vacant Window Initiative, Bloomfield College students were invited to create winter-themed art to be displayed in an empty downtown storefront. Led by Creative Arts and Technology (CAT) Adjunct Professor Elizabeth Seaton, Bloomfield College students created a holiday window display at 625 Bloomfield Avenue entitled Winter Reindeer Under Starry Skies.”

Earlier, CAT Division Chair Yuichiro Nishizawa connected Lettman with Seaton who immediately expressed an interest in the effort. “There are so many talented members of our College, and this provided an opportunity to share that with our community,” said Nishizawa.

Seaton agreed, stating, “After making some monumental drawings on recycled cardboard earlier in the semester - using oil pastels and bright tempera - for this initiative, the student artists were enthusiastic about offering similar pieces, but with a wintery theme.”

Student artists for the project kick-off window display included Cynciere Amon ’23, Edwin Ayala ’23 and Taylor Galyean’23. The artwork will be on display through the winter season (or until a new tenant takes the space). The BCA hopes to identify another storefront owner in the spring in which to place new artwork.

In addition, the BCA recently tapped Bloomfield College faculty and alumni to design bright, colorful light pole banners that will be installed around downtown Bloomfield in the spring.

Together, Nishizawa and CAT alumni Vincent Leu ’15, created a series of banner designs for review by Lettman and the BCA Board. Final designs were selected and 50 banners have been ordered from a local banner company to be displayed throughout Bloomfield Center, the town’s primary business district encompassing Bloomfield Avenue to Liberty Street on the west end and Watsessing Avenue on the east end.

The stated goal of these collaborative art projects between the BCA and Bloomfield College is to benefit both the town and the gown organizations by showcasing Bloomfield College and its student, faculty and alumni talent; and helping to beautify Bloomfield Center in order to attract entrepreneurs interested in opening businesses in the community.

“It has been a superb win-win for everyone,” said Lettman, “and I am looking forward to continuing to expand the BCA’s relationship with the College.”

Photo: Artwork created by Bloomfield College student artists Cynciere Amon ’23, Edwin Ayala ’23 and Taylor Galyean’23 is part of a number of town-gown initiatives that are helping to beautify Bloomfield Township. The artwork entitled “Winter Reindeer Under Starry Skies” is on display in an empty downtown storefront window at 625 Bloomfield Avenue.

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