Bloomfield College students helping transform downtown with art to attract new business owners
BLOOMFIELD, N.J. -- There's a new effort happening in Bloomfield, New Jersey to bring more businesses, big and small, to the area.
The township is teaming up with college students to transform vacant storefronts into pop-up art displays, which they hope will attract entrepreneurs.
A vacant downtown storefront at 625 Bloomfield Avenue displays eclectic winter-themed art, like reindeer and stars, courtesy of these students.
"We want the people not only driving down, seeing empty windows, but they're seeing some life," said Edwin Ayala, a senior at Bloomfield College.
"We have a number of vacant storefronts and we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of working with a partner like Bloomfield College to try to beautify it with some artwork," said Bloomfield Center Alliance Director Ollyn Lettman.
Their ultimate goal is to bring attention to these spaces in hopes of finding entrepreneurs interested in opening businesses in the area as new housing developments go up.
"We just want to try to cover up some of these storefronts with artwork as we hope to bring attention to their availability in the hopes of maybe bringing in entrepreneurs and business owners that want to occupy the space," said Lettman.
Elizabeth Seaton, a Bloomfield College art professor, said the effort allows her students to showcase their work like never before.
"It's a great opportunity for the students to connect with the town itself," said Seaton.
Her students said it's also a way for them to feel more connected to their community.
"Seeing my art up in the community make me want to be more active in my community," said Synciere Amons, a senior at Bloomfield College. "Even the littlest things you don't think matter can make a difference."
"It was a very unique opportunity to be able to enrich the environment and the community around here, especially because I've been here five years," said Taylor Galyean, also a senior at Bloomfield.
While the wait for a new business at 625 Bloomfield Avenue continues, the Bloomfield Center Alliance hopes to find another storefront for new artwork by spring.
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