The Millburn Short Hills Art Advisory Committee is proud to have been part of the process to bring the latest public art sculpture to the community. Working together with the township and the Cultural Engagement Diversity and Arts Committee (CEDA), the team narrowed the selection from the approximately 50 artists who submitted proposals to the town’’s open call for artists in June of 2020. Eight were selected to be semifinalists. From these, Michael Cooper’s piece, All Together Now, was chosen.
Over the past few months, Mr Cooper has worked with the township on the installation of the sculpture in Taylor Park, on the Main Street side near the pond. The official unveiling was in a ceremony on Thursday August 12.
photo caption: Michelle San Filippo, AAC member; Michael Cooper, artist, and Jackie Lieberberg, former Mayor and President of CEDA cutting the ribbon at the event. Photo credit: Steven Barach
photo caption: Michael Cooper, artist, Laraine Brennan-Barach, AAC Chair, and Jackie Leiberberg, CEDA President and former mayor. Photo credit: Amy McGovern
photo caption: Laraine Brennan-Barach, AAC Chair and Jesse Moehlman, Assistant Business Administrator, Millburn Township. photo credit: Amy McGovern
Here is some more information about the artwork, from artist Michael Cooper:
“My goal was to achieve a worthy sculpture for the town of Millburn after learning about its history and considering the current time we live in. Its intention is to show that we are all connected. The piece is a counterpoint to society’s increasing divisions especially in this time of Covid-19 and political and cultural unrest. This piece is meant to be a visual reminder of the underlying connection and equality of all humankind in a way that makes people smile and be comforted by that connection. Connecting – human to human – and knowing we are all the same is key to a strong and resilient society regardless of challenges we face, now or in the future. And what better place to celebrate this fundamental truth than in a park, Taylor Park, a place that all people can share. Taylor Park which was given to the town by Mrs. John (Gertrude) Taylor, is a perfect vehicle for drawing people together within the uplifting influence of nature.
The figures in the sculpture are symbolic of all people: the different colors represent our respective individualities, but the identical shapes denote our equal membership in the human race. The figures are connected physically here, and represent a connection that is global, hence the round shape they stand on. This circle represents not only a millwheel shape but also represents timelessness and continuation. Millburn is a town of evolution, remembering its roots (represented by the millwheel) and mindful that it is people that have created its history and will continue to bring it forward into a harmonious future.
My hope is for the entire work to be welcoming and to give a positive feeling.”
For more information about Michael Cooper, please visit his webpage: http://www.cooperartworksllc.com/