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Colorful Artwork Adds Local Touch to Closter

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As a collective of passionate people, EDENS designs places that are rooted in and reflective of the local community. In Closter, New Jersey, our team sought to incorporate unique, local artwork to Closter Plaza.

Through conversations with the community and officials, David Germakian, EDENS’ Senior Vice President, connected with Closter’s Mayor Glidden and his assistant, Leslie Weatherly. Leslie shared with David stories of her son Andrew’s artistic endeavors over several of their visits.

Andrew, a Closter resident and Closter Target employee, lives with Down syndrome and channels his self-expression through a variety of artistic venues, including photography, writing and painting. Using his art as a tool for personal and social growth, Andrew exhibits his artwork locally and beyond, including an exhibition at The Smithsonian Institution for Emerging Young Artists.

Inspired by Andrew’s talents, David and EDENS provided a canvas in a prominent outdoor gathering space for Andrew to create a mural. Andrew began his work and chose a bright, multi-colored palette, pulling in notes of red in homage to the iconic “Dancing Diamonds” and updated “Closter Plaza” signs.

Perfectly dubbed “Pizzazz,” Andrew’s vibrant artwork has brought new life and meaning to the property. Since the mural installment, Closer Plaza hosted a pop-up gallery where Andrew and members of Arts Unbound, a non-profit dedicated to the artistic achievement of people living with disabilities and seniors, showcased their work for visitors and neighbors to view. The special partnership between David, Andrew and Leslie opened a door to a shared passion for art, community and advocacy that is represented by this colorful mural and has been embraced by the community.

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