Street Art Mural Tour
The city of Elizabeth is currently undergoing many beautification projects, including the creation of vivid and colorful street murals by local artists. Here’s what you need to know about the history and significance of these murals, which never fail to captivate visitors and locals alike.
The Elizabeth Renaissance Foundation
These vibrant Street Art Murals were commissioned by The Elizabeth Renaissance Foundation, which provides funding for various projects designed to beautify the city of Elizabeth. The Foundation’s ultimate goal is to sponsor extensive citywide beautification projects including wall murals, lighted buildings, monuments, signage, and more.
The Street Art Murals are part of an art project that extends throughout the city and celebrates Elizabeth’s rich history and diverse cultural heritage. The murals represent a collaboration between the Foundation, the Elizabeth Board of Education, and local Elizabeth artists who design them.
The Street Art Mural Tour
Elizabeth’s Street Art Mural Tour is a self-guided tour where you can walk among the murals, carefully examine each intricate detail, and take plenty of photos to share on social media. The two most recently completed murals are located at 125 Broad Street and 79 Julian Place, where you can admire them year-round, at any time of the day.
The magnificent mural at 125 Broad Street is named Elizabeth’s Renaissance is Underway… Revitalizing Midtown! and was created by artist Dario Scholis. Born in Quito, Ecuador, Scholis studied at the Corcoran School of Arts in Washington, D.C., and has created many public art projects, including Elizabeth’s September 11 Monument, Union County’s Art Outside the Box Project, and historic slides from recycled signage along the Elizabeth River Trail.
The Broad Street mural features shadowy figures in motion against vibrant backgrounds, engaging in various creative and athletic pursuits. It’s designed to celebrate the diversity and richness of midtown Elizabeth’s arts, cultural, and business communities.
You’ll also want to stop by the stunning Julian Kean Mural, which was designed by Jubenal “Juvy” Torres, an artist, graphic designer, and Elizabeth native. Torres graduated from Kean University with a BFA in Graphic Design and is known for his bold, colorful paintings, drawings, ink, and digital work.
The Julian Kean Mural depicts the heritage and history of Elizabeth, including the introduction of steam trains which made travel across the vast American continent possible. In the mural, you can also see local landmarks such as Liberty Hall, which was built in 1772 and is now a museum and National Historic Landmark. You can also see the image of Julian Halstead Kean, a member of the famed Kean family who sold the land he owned to the city of Elizabeth.
These vibrant murals represent both the past and the current history of Elizabeth, and dazzle viewers with their bright colors and intricate details. Be sure to take your time to walk down the street and take in every detail of these murals, pose for pictures, and then share them online using the hashtag #ElizRenaissance Foundation.
Whether you’re an Elizabeth local or visitor, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to admire and engage with these incredible works of art!
About the Mural
"How our world is transforming what we had before. Feel alive as the real nature and organic details now to the humans makes us feel in everything virtual."
About the Mural Artist:
Sara Fernández Londoño
Plastic, visual and tattoo arts artist. She was born in Medellín, Colombia on February 4, 1989. She studied at the Débora Arango School of Plastic Arts. She graduated in plastic and visual arts from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Colombia. From an early age, her great talent for painting was seen, since she grew up among canvases and colors among a family of artists, her parents who encouraged her talent. From a very young age, in her basic studies, she received honors for her pictorial ability. Sara Fernández, together with her family and other artists, belonged to the artistic movement in Parque Lleras (Pueblo, Medellín) for many years it was a great school for the elaboration of beautiful works, in oil and acrylic, which she exhibited outdoors in a cheerful atmosphere. and bohemian that would come locally and internationally. Around the year 2001 Sara decided to move to the United States (New Jersey), where currently her artistic career is carried out by applying her art to restaurants, houses and many establishments in combination with tattooing. She also starred in "art and wine" events, becoming known as an artistic teacher, teaching children and adults. Awakening the inner artist that she only seeks to express herself. She hopes to continue growing as a person and an artist giving the best of herself and thanking all the people and identities that have been part of her life project called ART.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Follow on Instagram @sarartmurals
Sponsored in part by: Elizabeth Avenue Partnership – www.ElizabethAvenue.org
About Elizabeth Avenue Partnership:
The Elizabeth Avenue Partnership (EAP) is a non-profit organization, designated by the City of Elizabeth to manage the Elizabeth Avenue Special Improvement District (SID). Since 1999, the EAP’s mission has been to revitalize and enhance all aspects of the shopping district. By focusing on the following areas; image and appearance, safety and security, parking, promotions, events and quality business development, the Elizabeth Avenue Shopping District has become a safer and more attractive place for visitors, residents and merchants alike.
The EAP works with the local business community to ensure a safe and clean environment, contracting a private firm, Commercial District Services, LLC to provide street cleaning and Ambassador Segway Services, power washing and quality of life services. The EAP also funds an extra duty walking patrol to make sure officers are walking the beat and interacting with merchants. The EAP is comprised of a dedicated Board of Directors and hard working staff who act as liaisons with the business and property owners to connect them with City, County and Municipal services, funding and grants while troubleshooting downtown issues merchants may have on a daily basis.
The EAP has placed nearly 70 flower planters throughout the district and has worked with the Elizabeth Public School Art Departments on district art projects including wooden seasonal cutouts of Scarecrows, Toy Soldiers and Flowers in addition to having the art students paint murals on traffic utility boxes located throughout the district. This collaboration with the EPS garnered a "Best of the Best" Award by Downtown New Jersey in 2017, the second award of it's kind won by the EAP.
The EAP is also responsible for many promotions and events including a Hot Dog Day Celebration, Hispanic Heritage Month Concert, Halloween Trunk or Treat Event, Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Events on each Saturday in December, an Easter Egg Event and this year the organization's first ever Pride Day Event. Each of these events is in collaboration with an organization called Buckets, LLC who provides Pop Up Shops and entertainment.
District Banners, Holiday Lights, Ribbon Cuttings, Power Washing, an updated directory and district inventory, restaurant directory and promoting the district at city-wide events are all examples of the services provided by the district management company known as the EAP.
About the Mural
"The artwork itself is supposed to inspire children in hopes that they would pursue art themselves, not only children but adults to tap back into their creative spirit."
This mural brings us briefly into the history of what made our current civilization. The first time steam trains rolled into the industry completely changed the paradigm. Distant lands become instantly reachable and the journey across the country was cut down from months of travel to just a few days. The invention of trains represents one of the most important times in human history leading to the expansion and development of our modern world. Just like the steam locomotive made its Mark in History. We want to remind the viewer that they have that impact as well. We hope this serves as a positive affirmation for the community to find a place in the world where they can have a higher purpose and make their mark in history. Shown in the mural as well is Liberty Hall which was built in 1772 by Gov. William Livingston. Many distinguished visitors came to travel through Liberty Hall such as Alexander Hamilton, Washington, and Lafayette. The house now serves as a museum and collects furniture, clothing, manuscripts, books, and other historical artifacts including a signed letter from George Washington. The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. Alongside Liberty Hall is one of the Kean family members, Julian Halstead Kean. The street itself where the mural is located is named after Julian after selling the land he owned to the city of Elizabeth.
About the Mural Artist:
email@example.com | Follow on Instagram @formless.studios | www.juvytorres.com
"Visionary artist, designer, dreamer, thinker, meditator, and lover of all that is the soul."
Juvy Torres is a graphic designer and artist born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He is inspired by the journey of personal growth, dreams, and visionary states. When I’m not working as a full-time graphic designer, I focus on creating bold colorful creations through the use of paintings, drawings, ink, and digital work. As a graduate from Kean University where I received my BFA in Graphic Design, I’ve had the opportunity to work on various projects for clients ranging from branding, illustrations, websites, printed material, social media content, and everything in between. You will always find me strapped with my creative arsenal of sketchpads and pens because you can never be too sure when inspiration might strike.
About the Mural
Elizabeth’s Renaissance is Underway… Revitalizing Midtown! This art mural is intended to serve as a reminder of Elizabeth’s vibrancy; highlighting the diversity of midtown’s culture, arts, and business community. These art murals pave the way for the behind-the-scenes construction work of our “signs of progress!”
About the Mural Artist:
Born in Quito Ecuador, Dario Scholis started to paint as a young child. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the Central University of Quito, and later attended the Corcoran School of Arts in Washington, D.C. Dario has a history of private and public art which now takes a new direction with the creation of the murals at the Hersch Tower; a project made possible by the Elizabeth Renaissance Foundation. Previous public projects include Elizabeth’s September 11 Monument in honor of local victims of 9/11 which stands at the Elizabeth Historic Midtown Train Plaza; the metal ornaments at the front of the Elizabethport Community Center; Union County’s Art Outside the Box Project, Somerset County’s Art on Traffic Control
Boxes, and historic slides from recycled signage portraying the rich history of the city, as part of the Elizabeth River Trail project developed by Groundworks Elizabeth. Dario’s most recent private project is a collaboration with the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dario has created interactive art projects made possible by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, focusing on recycling. One such project was the annual "Paint by the Pond" which featured colorful miniature houses made from recycled cardboard boxes and other household items that are usually discarded. This project encouraged free artistic expression and provided local families an opportunity to come together and enjoy the County’s parks. Dario’s latest project, also made possible by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is the Recycled Art Wildlife Walk, a collection of oversized sculptures of animals created from recycled plastic bottles. Emphasizing the importance of recycling and caring for the environment, the colorful wildlife collection was displayed in October 2020 at the Trailside Nature Center in Mountainside, New
About Mural Artist:
Quote: "I really enjoyed working on this project. I think what I like the most is how street art can turn an eyesore into something beautiful the whole neighborhood can enjoy!"
Marcel is an Uruguayan-born artist. He started painting and taking art classes when he was 8 years old. In his teenage years he discovered tattooing and fell in love with that art form and has been tattooing all over the world for more than 25 years. He now resides in New Jersey where he co-owns Orpheus Tattoo Studio in North Brunswick. Over the years he’s worked in a variety of different mediums, from pencil and charcoal to airbrushing and oil painting. The pandemic gave him the time to explore a new one: street art. The large-scale format really appealed to him, because in this new art form you paint with your whole body. He’s done murals for numerous restaurants and lounges and now you can see him growing and doing whole sides of buildings. He’s gonna continue exploring large-scale imagery as well as tattooing, painting, and any other medium that catches his eye!
The City of Elizabeth Neighborhood Preservation Program provided funding for this mural through the Department of Community Affairs Grant. The NPP allocates annual funding to various neighborhood improvement and beautification programs. The purpose of this collaboration with the City of Elizabeth Economic Development Arts Council and the Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce is to utilize the City’s artistic and cultural resources, which will also be used in future murals within Elizabeth.