On April 22, 2021 (Earth Day), Camden Mayor Frank Moran, the City of Camden, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, and the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts will unveil “A New View—Camden,” an innovative, six-month-long exhibition featuring six, one-of-a-kind and family-friendly public art projects. Additional programming and events will launch in tandem with “A New View” and continue through October.
Funded by a $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge grant, these large-scale, outdoor art installations designed by nationally recognized artists will attract visitors of all ages to Camden and call attention to illegal dumping and its impact on the community and environment. “A New View” will feature a massive feline designed from repurposed automobiles, a 15-foot-tall steel creature doubling as a trash receptacle, a machine that utilizes mealworms to eat Styrofoam packaging from e-waste, and more. The creations were specifically designed to raise awareness about unlawful dumping of bulk waste in Camden, which costs taxpayers over $4 million annually. “A New View” was originally slated to launch in 2020 but was subsequently delayed to spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The timing to launch on Earth Day is a strong way for us to convey the message of how important it is that we unify as neighborhoods and communities to fight illegal dumping,” said Dana L. Redd, CEO of the Rowan University/Rutgers–Camden Board of Governors and Board Member of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. “Over the next six months, we hope ‘A New View’ inspires Camden residents and visitors to take an active role in helping protect their public spaces.”
More than 131 artist applications were submitted from across the country, with eight winners selected by “A New View” curators Judith Tannenbaum and Camden native Kimberly Camp. The artists selected for the project and their installation sites, map included here, are:
- DKLA Design “Invincible Cat” – Whitman Park Neighborhood
- Terreform ONE (Mitchell Joachim, Vivian Kuan, Zack Saunders, Theo Dimitrasopoulos, and Nicholas Gervasi) “Bio-Informatic Digester: Waste as Fuel for Biodiversity” – Gateway Neighborhood
- SLO Architecture (Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi) “Turntable” – North Camden Neighborhood
- Athena Steen and Josh Sarantitis “Touching Earth” – North Camden Neighborhood
- Tyler FuQua Creations “Mechan 11: The Collector” – North Camden/Cramer Hill Neighborhoods
- The Myth Makers (Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein) “The Phoenix Festival” – East Camden Neighborhood
The six central installations will be augmented by creative works from two New Jersey artists, Tom Marchetty and Erik James Montgomery. Local woodworker, third-generation factory machinery specialist, and owner of The Factory Workers, Tom Marchetty will add to each site’s overall transformation by designing and building “pod parks” (unique seating areas) at each of the sites. Camden-based photographer Erik James Montgomery’s viral photography series, “Camden is Bright not Blight,” will continue to shine a light on illegal dumping. The photo series, originally launched in fall 2020, was displayed on abandoned buildings throughout Camden, keeping much-needed attention on illegal dumping during the pandemic.
The six sites for the temporary public art are adjacent to major transportation corridors in the Camden neighborhoods of North Camden, Cramer Hill, Gateway, Whitman Park, and East Camden, along the PATCO Speedline, NJ Transit’s River Line, and Camden GreenWay. With tens of thousands of daily commuters and travelers passing through Camden and by those sites, the city hopes that the visibility of the installations will call further attention to the project, spark conversation, and serve as a reminder of the plight of illegal dumping.