"The Wave" - A New Public Landmark for Gloucester City in Proprietors Park, Gloucester City, NJ
After several years of development, "The Wave" will be rising in Proprietors Park. The official unveiling will occur on October 8, 2022, at 4 pm at Proprietors Park, in Gloucester City, NJ, during our Pack the Park Fall Festival celebration. The installation, dedicated to former Mayor Bill James and created in partnership with the Hearth Community Fund, was designed by NY- based artist Winter Willoughby-Spera as part of a winning plan to beautify and redevelop Gloucester City's historic harbor front. "The Wave" showcases hundreds of fish sculptures painted by residents of all ages in response to the prompt: "What does Gloucester City mean to you?" The fish are emblematic of each citizen's story, forming "The Wave" that represents the legacy of Gloucester's historic waterfront and the promise of the city's future in its community.
In 2015, Willoughby-Spera envisioned visitors approaching an installation that celebrates Gloucester City's history as a fishing village (as depicted in the famous Thomas Eakins painting — "The Shad Fisherman") while looking through the glass shoal of colorful fish to the modern skyline of the city's harbor. Now, in 2022, Willoughby-Spera sees a new meaning for the new city landmark. After years of the pandemic and unforeseen obstacles, "The Wave" is a reminder of the city's resilience and the need—more than ever before— to come together as a community.
Former Mayor William James, to whom the "The Wave" is dedicated, described the proposal as an "exciting design for the Betsy Ross Pavilion [that] celebrates what is great about Gloucester City — a historic past; a closely knit, proud community in the present and a promising future as we enjoy and develop our beautiful waterfront. We are grateful to Winter and the Hearth Community Fund for enhancing the Betsy Ross Pavilion." Now, in 2022, Mayor Baile and Gloucester City Council are happy to complete this project with the assistance of the State of NJ DCA Neighborhood Preservation Program funding. “This is the first major statement of “Public Art in the City, which will attract many visitors to our great City and to Proprietors Park for its location and its beautiful views,” stated Mayor Dayl Baile.
The Wave was created in partnership with the Hearth Community Fund and City of Gloucester. The installation was fabricated and managed by dedicated teams across New York and New Jersey: 3form, Driftwood Millwork, David Kufferman Structures, and Alchemy Surfaces.
The Hearth Community Fund is a non-profit, 501 C3 corporation that seeks to serve Gloucester City by creating community improvement initiatives that enhance the beauty and attraction of the City's downtown and waterfront. Revitalization projects in these important areas help create jobs, support home values, and foster neighborhood pride. Please feel free to contact us with questions by emailing Trustee Tom Monahan at [email protected] or
visitingourwebsiteatwww.hearthcommunityfund.org.Donationsarealwayswelcometowardsfuturegrants. TheNJDCANPP program can be contacted at https:// www.cityofgloucester.org/npp