Maplewood Arts Council seeks artists for pedestrian tunnel

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Maplewood Arts Council and the township of Maplewood have put out a Request For Proposals for artwork to transform a pedestrian tunnel running beneath the NJ Transit railroad tracks in Maplewood. The tunnel is a hub of commuter and pedestrian activity in Maplewood, connecting the Ricalton Square parking lot on Maplewood Avenue with the train station on Dunnell Road.

Thanks to the generosity of many local citizens and businesses, MAC’s GoFundMe campaign reached its goal of raising $10,000 to fund this project. Now, the search is on for artists who can create this transformation.

“We’re encouraging artists of all ages, and artists working in diverse artistic styles and media, to submit proposals,” said Marcy Thompson, MAC chairwoman and co-founder.

Artists are welcome to apply as individuals or as teams. Each artist or team will be paid $1,000, and the cost of materials will be covered.

The RFP asks artists to submit ideas for realizing two central goals: to inspire people on the move, and to represent Maplewood as a vibrant artistic and cultural community. The artwork should capture the vitality of this busy passageway, and should have the potential to bring artists and commuters into a conversation about what it means to be a part of our community.

Based on proposals received, MAC will choose up to eight artists or artist teams, each of whom will create one 4-foot-by-8-foot horizontally-oriented panel, to be hung on the tunnel walls. Artists are invited to submit proposals in a variety of media, including paint, mosaic, textile, photography and graffiti.

Preference will be given to artists who live in the Maplewood/South Orange area, but applications will also be accepted from artists along the entire Morris & Essex Rail Line, from New York City to Gladstone/Dover.

The deadline for submissions is March 22. To access the RFP, visit Awards will be announced April 5.

The project to beautify the Ricalton Square/Dunnell Road tunnel is Phase 1 of MAC’s “Art in Motion” initiative, launched in cooperation with NJ Transit. Phase 2, to transform the other pedestrian tunnel in Maplewood Village, is to follow.