The new mural at 272 Smith Street is an incredible monumental work of art celebrating culture and women. And it was created by two exceptional Perth Amboy women artists. Artists Julisa Mugica and Solange Pena created the beautiful colorful mural titled “Generations of Hope, She is Within Me” in downtown by the Alameda Center. Both artists have been active in the Perth Amboy Art Scene, doing shows at the Perth Amboy Gallery Center for the Arts, the Library and teaching art and filmmaking among other efforts.
Perth Amboy is a very walkable city and it is a great experience to walk downtown and enjoy the art. The high quality mural is a welcome addition to the growing outdoor gallery in downtown Perth Amboy, which has been a goal of city revitalization efforts for some time. Arts and Culture has been the strategy for successfully revitalizing cities across NJ. Perth Amboy has utilized that vision by passing a mural ordinance, creating an arts council and putting money into mural projects, arts festivals, concerts, an art gallery and art and music classes.
While murals might be seen by some as signifiers of gentrification, Perth Amboy is staying true to its roots and investing in local artists and representations that celebrate the community. This will be the largest work of art by lead artist Julisa Mugica, almost 11,00 square feet. “As a woman artist, I wanted this design to represent the strength within women” said artist Julisa Mugica. Artist Solange Pena who assisted with the mural, commented that it had been a lifelong dream to create a large scale piece in her hometown. The mural was finished during December by the artist friends.
The funding for the mural was made possible by the Perth Amboy Office of Economic Development and the Perth Amboy Business Improvement District.
The first step in getting a mural done is to get permission from the property owner and the Alameda Center was supportive of having the vibrant piece go up on their property to beautify and celebrate Perth Amboy. Michelle Moreland, Chair of the Perth Amboy Arts Council who helped move the project forward, said she loves the artwork. It is a beautiful piece that you need to go check out now.
Perth Amboy regularly posts opportunities for artists to do murals, teach art, be part of festivals, host art shows and play concerts.