Cherry Blossoms to Become Canvas for Massive Art Installation Project in Winter 2016

The cherry blossom trees in Essex County’s Branch Brook Park – famed for the colorful spring spectacle that their petals bring each year – will lay claim to a new season in a dramatic winter debut. 

On March 24, 2016, Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N), in partnership with the City of Newark and Essex County, will launch Cherry Blossoms in Winter, a multimedia public art project commemorating Newark’s 350th anniversary through art installations that will adorn the bare winter trees and recreate their springtime beauty with lights, sounds, and decorations.

The project, led by RU-N’s Department of English Chair Fran Bartkowski, is a collaborative artistic endeavor with partners across many sectors: government offices, businesses, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, K-12 Newark schools, two-year and four-year higher education institutions, and local, national, and international artists. The project combines creativity with sustainability as the installations will use renewable and recycled materials to give new life to the largest collection of cherry blossoms in the United States (5,000 trees).

Cherry Blossoms in Winter is supported, in part, by funding from RU-N Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s Seed Grant Program, the Newark Celebration 350 Committee, and additional donors. Funding provided for this project will support teachers and student installations, artist stipends, public programming, maintenance and installation of the project, and promotion.

Attendees for Thursday’s event will get a glimpse into winter 2016 with a presentation of artists’ proposals, and hear remarks from leaders in Essex County and Newark. Join us as we celebrate the power of community collaborations in the promotion of the arts.

Joseph DiVincenzo
Jr., County Executive, Essex County
Gwen Moten, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism
Steve Kern, Director and CEO, Newark Museum
Peter Englot, Senior Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Chief of Staff, Rutgers University–Newark
Fran Bartkowski, Professor and Department of English Chair, Rutgers University–Newark

Cherry Blossom Welcome Center
Mill Street, Essex County Branch Brook Park
Newark, NJ 07104
Food and drinks will be served

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Guests can RSVP to or to Gloria Rodriguez at 973-353-2742.