For the greater part of this year, a rare collection of graffiti and street art have been gracing the walls of what used to be the Pep Boys Auto Center located at 410 Luis Munoz Marin Blvd Jersey City, NJ 07302. Local arts organization Green Villain has been curating and documenting the transformation of this 22,000 square foot building since August 2014. They have invited regional and international artists alike and are showcasing all the progress on their Google Cultural Institute gallery.
Green Villain was given permission from the Northeast Regional Manager of Pep Boys to paint the rear wall which faces the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. Following the confirmation of Pep Boys’ pending departure, they were given permission to paint the building 360º. A large event was held on site where artists and local community members were invited to partake in this unique experience of public art.
The new owners, Forest City and G&S Investors, have partnered with Green Villain giving them access to create a large scale exhibition inside of the building before it’s demolished. The gallery will open to the public on June 27 and will feature artists from all around New Jersey, New York and the world. Green Villain’s partnership with Google will allow the interior and exterior to be captured by their Trekker technology creating a Streetview-esque experience available online for generations to come.
This site is officially referred to with the hashtag #GVM004 because it is the fourth location in Green Villain’s mural program. Each address, not necessarily each mural, is given a unique identifier which allows photographers to correctly tag on social media platforms. This helps others discover artists involved in the project (by noting tags) and most importantly to be able to view what art preceded the location they are now experiencing. This particular site has garnered over 2000 uniquely tagged images in less than a year.
Curator — Gregory D. Edgell, Green Villain
Photographer — William L. Benzon, Green Villain
Photographer — John Betz, World of Street Art