New Mural in Downtown Summit

(above) Kevin O’Connell is a renowned muralist with works all over the country.

New Downtown Mural

Summit Downtown, Inc.

Many visitors to downtown Summit may have noticed the ongoing work that started in July on the 6’ tall wall on Union Place behind the Summit Diner between the diner and the building that houses Pizza Vita. Well, Summit Downtown, Inc. (SDI) contracted with artist Kevin O’Connell and coordinated with Summit Diner owners Jimmy & Michelle Greberis to improve the appearance of the wall, which is made of cinderblock, painted white, and has a plywood door to the back area of the railcar diner. The result has created quite a buzz already even though the mural was just completed on Sunday, July 17th.

Kevin O’Connell is a renowned muralist with works all over the country, especially in the New York City area given that he lives in South Orange. For more than thirty years, he has been painting letters and pictures on every imaginable surface, from billboards to brick walls, storefronts to stage flats, gallery walls to canvases, museums to kitchens. His years painting huge pictorial signs in the outdoor advertising industry taught him how to work at unimaginable scale and to satisfy the most demanding art directors in New York City. More about Kevin can be found on his website.

SDI has been working within its Design & Beautification Committee, with representation from Summit Public Art, for over a year to choose the artist and has been collaborating with him to determine the design of the mural. What resulted through various design renditions and revisions is a lovely combination of whimsy and charm that reflects the beauty of the City of Summit and its beautiful, historic downtown.

SDI works with the City of Summit on many initiatives in its day-to-day management of the downtown Special Improvement District while creating events to draw people downtown and marketing initiatives to promote the business district to the surrounding market. SDI also just finished having over 80 of the downtown tree wells replanted or embellished with more perennials to further beautify downtown Summit; and SDI is also responsible for the market string lights that line the streets and cross Maple Street downtown. “While SDI is most recognized for the Summit Farmers Market, Family Fun Night and other downtown events,” said Executive Director Nancy Adams, “The beautification of downtown Summit is also part of what SDI works on to create an atmosphere that people want to keep returning to, which in turn supports the wonderful businesses here.”

(above) Before
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