Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Introduces Public Art, ‘The Path of Us’, on Hackensack and Bogota Border

Ribbon cutting ceremony. Bogota Mayor Christopher Kelemen cuts the ribbon with Michael Shannon, President of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, and artist Katherine Daniels. Amaru Bustamante (left), Chairperson of Bogota Beautiful, and Danielle De Laurentis (right), Associate Director of Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, joined them. Photo credit: Stephen Mazzella

 (Bergen County, New Jersey; June 26, 2019) — The community came together to celebrate the official installation of a new art piece, The Path of Us: A Public Art Fence Weaving, bordering Hackensack and Bogota, New Jersey.  During Bogota’s 125th anniversary commemoration on June 1, the Hackensack-based Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s (NNJCF) ArtsBergen initiative held the ribbon cutting ceremony at Oscar E. Olsen Park on West Main Street before the Lt. William C Ryan (USMC) Memorial Bridge.

            Guests in attendance at the ceremony included: Christopher Kelemen, Mayor, Bogota; Mary Ellen Murphy, Councilwoman, Bogota; Consuelo Carpenter, Councilwoman, Bogota; Kathryn Gates-Ferris, Councilwoman, Bogota; Amaru Bustamante, Chairperson, Bogota Beautiful; Adriana Bingen, Treasurer, Bogota Beautiful; Joe Gallagher, member, Bogota Beautiful; Katherine Daniels, public artist; Michael Shannon, President, NNJCF; Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, NNJCF; Joyce Luhrs, Public Relations and Marketing, NNJCF; and Maureen Vanacore, Arts Consultant, NNJCF.  Passersby may view the semi-permanent public art piece on display for a year.

            The Path of Us: A Public Art Fence Weaving illustrates the connection between the Hackensack River and the communities it flows through — the people, history, values, animals, natural terrain, and architecture.  During Bogota’s Earth Day on May 4, public artist Katherine Daniels assisted children, teenagers, and adults with creating and installing the weave on the fence.  White lines connect diamonds forming frames for the participants’ weavings.  Blue zigzag lines represent the Hackensack River, with yellow zigzag lines representing the path, along which white diamonds frame each participant’s weaving.  The design highlights the project’s participants and local artists’ 3-D printed tokens of meaningful images and sayings created at the Bergen Makerspace in Hackensack.

Collaboration Key

            The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation ArtsBergen’s mission includes promoting creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region, to build community and livability and boost the local economy, in Bergen County, New Jersey.  Arts and culture restore vitality and energy into a community.  “We were very pleased with this opportunity to show how The Path of Us: A Public Art Fence Weaving project fostered creative placemaking and brought together people from different parts of Bergen County,” said Michael Shannon, President, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

Members of the community celebrate the official installation of The Path of Us: A Public Art Fence Weaving. Photo credit: Stephen Mazzella

            The public art piece was created in partnership with the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, the Borough of Bogota, Bogota Beautiful, artist Katherine Daniels, and Bergen Makerspace.  From February through April, artists and community members established the project theme and designed individual weavings and 3-D printed and laser cut tokens to embellish the fence.

            Several community members, area artists, and organizations participated in the creation and installation of The Path of Us: A Public Art Fence Weaving.  They included Robert Robbins, Amaru Bustamante, Isabel Bustamante, Adrianna Bingen, Joseph Gallagher, Rita Flores, Bogart Memorial Reformed Church, Bees Trees Water, Irmari Nacht, Kathy Rebek, Monica Chavarria, Ted Malin, Barbara Contini, Lena Aronson, and Joanne Siska.

            This program has been made possible in part by a grant administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  Donations are welcome to defray the costs of this public art and to develop new projects and programs in northern New Jersey.  Donations are tax-deductible, as permitted by law, and may be made online at http://www.nnjcf.org/donation/ . Contributions may also be sent by check made out to ‘The Northern N.J. Community Foundation’. 
Send checks to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, 1 University Plaza, Suite 128, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601.

            For more information about the NNJCF and The Path of Us: A Public Art Fence Weaving, visit www.nnjcf.org, contact nnjcf@nnjcf.org or call 201-568-5608.

Founded in 1998, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, the environment, philanthropy, and the arts.  The NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life.  The Foundation’s partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

            For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org, send an email to nnjcf@nnjcf.org, or call (201) 568-5608.  Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

About ArtsBergen

            ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy.  The initiative’s mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts.  For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org, send an email to artsbergen@nnjcf.org, or call 201-568-5608.

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