(TRENTON) – The New Jersey Department of the Treasury and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced the installation of artwork from ten Mercer County artists into the newly constructed New Jersey Department of Health building on Willow Street in Trenton. The installation marks one of the final steps in the construction of the first new state office buildings in Trenton in more than 25 years.
The State Office Building Development Project is a partnership between the NJ Department of the Treasury's Division of Property Management and Construction (DPMC) and the NJEDA. As the client, Treasury authorized the NJEDA to fund and provide development and construction services for the new Department of Health and Division of Taxation buildings in downtown Trenton. Department of Health employees have already begun moving into the new building, located at 55 N. Willow Street. The Division of Taxation building is scheduled for completion in early 2021.
The artwork, installed yesterday, was provided by the following artists:
Collages of the artwork can be found at https://www.njeda.com/healthbuildingartworkrelease.
"Engaging the local community to enhance the aesthetics of the buildings is part of our broader effort throughout this endeavor to foster opportunities for a diverse network of individuals and small businesses," said New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. "This has been central to our work from the very beginning of the State Office Building Development Project and it continues to be as we near the projects" completion."
"Our state's artists each have a unique story to tell, which they often express through their artwork," said Department of Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli. "We are thrilled to be showcasing the talents of these local artists in this highly-visible and enduring manner."
Two representatives from the Department of Health were a part of the 10-person selection committee that chose the artwork for the building, along with representatives from the community, as well as arts experts, architects, building stakeholders, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and employees with NJEDA and the Department of Treasury.
"We knew early in the State Office Building Development Project process that we wanted to feature local artists in prominent spots throughout the Department of Health building," said Danielle Bursk, Director of Artist Services & Public Art at the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. "The selection committee received and reviewed over 600 submissions from within Mercer County and, from those, brought in 25 artists to showcase their work in person before making a final decision."
The artwork was selected in coordination with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts who issued a call for artists earlier this year, pursuant to the Public Buildings Arts Inclusion Act (N.J.S.A. 52:16A-29 to – 42) which governs how art is selected for newly-constructed public buildings.
"New Jersey has a vibrant arts and culture community that contributes more than $23 billion to New Jersey's economy each year," said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. "Spotlighting this artwork in state office buildings will serve as an inspirational reminder of the breadth of creativity stemming from our state's talented artists."
As part of Governor Phil Murphy's goal to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy, Treasury and the NJEDA hosted two Subcontractor Opportunity Forums to help small, women, minority, and veteran-owned subcontracting companies (SMWVBEs) explore opportunities to work on the State Office Building Development Project. Since construction began in December of 2018, eight of the 14 professional services providers and 69 of the 119 subcontractors hired to work on the projects are local and/or SMWVBEs.
Treasury and the NJEDA expect to announce the artwork selected for the Division of Taxation building in the coming weeks.