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Arts on The Ave

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

Last Thursday we had to say goodbye (for now) to our six bronze friends who have graced The Ave for the past six months. I’m speaking of the Seward Johnson sculptures: Embracing Peace, Los Mariachis, Just a Taste, Yuck Go Fetch, Stormy Weather and Solo. What fun we had with them—from micro events like Paws On The Ave with Yuck Go Fetch where we had over 150 dogs and their owners take selfies with the sculpture (thanks to T&F Camera) to Nor’easter Nick broadcasting his weather report in front of Stormy Weather, to the Christian Tamburr quartette performing at the Landis Theater with Solo out front welcoming concert-goers.

We had a tremendous response from both our community here in Vineland to visitors who came to see our display of this art. If somehow you missed seeing them, you can visit our website to learn more about the Seward Johnson atelier and to see images of the sculptures at theave.biz/hot-topic/sculpture-tour/

The Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton is the home to which our friends have been returned. We were fortunate to have had them visit Vineland these past six months thanks to the generosity of our grantors, Cumberland County Cultural & Heritage Commission and the Neighborhood Preservation Programs. These grants not only covered the costs of enjoying these bronze statues, but for the Sounds For Sculpture concert with nearly 700 middle school students and several hundred members from our community in attendance.

Also, I want to extend a heartfelt thank-you to Mayor Fanucci and to our fantastic Public Works Landis Avenue team who made all this possible.

I’ve put out a few teasers already about some plans that we have for 2024. We aren’t ready to disclose them yet as we are finalizing our grant funding sources and committee work, but rest assured, we plan to have an equally fun year as we create more public art projects.

If public art is your passion, we are a volunteer driven organization and always welcome ideas and feedback from our community. Feel free to reach out to us at any time.

For more information on Main Street Vineland’s initiatives, programs, and activities, call our office at 856-794-8653, visit our website—theave.biz—or check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mainstreetvineland. You can also e-mail me at rswanson@vinelandcity.org.

On the Ave