The Seidler Chemical building overlooking Essex County Riverfront Park is transforming into a gigantic panting.
A partnership between the wall’s owner, Seidler Chemical, and the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) nominated the wall to the Newark Public Art Program‘s annual Call for Walls, explaining that the story of community organizing behind the new park deserved to be told through public art in the park itself. As one of six selected sites for 2012, the Newark Public Art Program convened and led a team of artists headed by Kevin Sampson to work with ICC and Ironbound residents to develop the design and produce the mural.
The painting shows a fantasy steampunk version of the area’s relationship to the river, visualizing how the river, the city, and residents have mechanically grown into one another in both amazing productive and frighteningly poisonous ways. Most of all it shows how people have come together to improve this system, including creating the park that the mural overlooks. The painting team has been hard at work up and down scaffolding on dry days and expects to finish in 2013.