Arts & Culture Business Government South Orange

PHOTOS: New South Orange Viaduct Mural Is Complete

A new mural under the train tracks on South Orange has been completed.

The mural, by artist Kevin O’Connell, was paid for with funds raised and donated for South Orange Train Station beautification at the train station Centennial celebration  in 2016.

South Orange Trustee Walter Clarke explained that the South Orange Design Review Board “has been developing ideas to make improvements with that money and has been working with NJTransit to make it happen.”

Katherine Crenshaw of the South Orange Design Review Board was “largely responsible for guiding” the mural process “through development in many committees,” reported Clarke, who added, “The DRB is also in the process of developing other station improvements which we hope to begin rolling out next year pending approval by NJTransit.”

“As Bob Zuckerman [Director of the South Orange Village Center Alliance] may have mentioned, there was also new lighting installed under that same viaduct of the train station. It was chosen to historically match that which is elsewhere in the station but also be more efficient (LEDs) while casting a warm light,” said Clarke.

Mural artist Kevin O’Connell has lived in South Orange for more than 20 years and has done large-scale painted works and signs all over New York City and New Jersey, said Clarke. In fact, O’Connell painted the mural for the old Moondance Diner which preceded the new mural on the wall.

“The project vision was an artistic wayfinding mural for South Orange that complimented the Historic Station,” Crenshaw explained. “The Design Review Board worked on different designs over the last five months. We reviewed rendering concepts and colors with the Board of Trustees, South Orange Village Center Alliance, South Orange Historic Preservation Commission, Cary Heller with the Village Shoppes on Sloan Street and New Jersey Transit. The collective feedback we received helped get us to the final design. Due to his extensive experience, Kevin O’Connell  was the perfect muralist to execute the design.”

“All I gotta say is I’m amazed and grateful for the incredible talent we have in our community and the generosity in which people freely give of themselves for the benefit of us all,” wrote Village President Sheena Collum on Facebook. “Kevin O’Connell – you are an amazing mutualist. Just wow! Design Review Board (Katherine CrenshawCat Tate StarmerOksana BerzinshJohn EvansBob ZuckermanWalter Clarke) – so appreciative of your advice and skills in advancing design guidelines, our matching grant program, development reviews, and public art.”

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