What a Night!
SPA Celebrates Illumination Night on the Village Green!
THANK YOU to everyone who came out last Friday to celebrate Summit Public Art's first-ever Illumination Night! More than a hundred people joined us for guided tours of all the new public art works around Summit and hundreds more helped us light up the night at our special illumination event on the Village Green. It truly was a magical night and reminded us how fortunate we are to live in a community that values and supports public art!
We were also honored to have some of our SPA artists there to celebrate with us. Thanks to Willie Cole, Kate Dodd, Karlis Rekevics, and Theda Sandiford for coming out to help us kick off our new season!

Along with the balloons, this special evening illuminated the uniqueness of Summit. What sets our town apart from other towns beyond its natural beauty and vibrant downtown is the strong presence of and access to public art. Summit is an Art Town! So much so that many towns throughout New Jersey have begun reaching out to us in hopes of emulating what we have built, with your help, for almost 20 years.
What we do is all about you, our community. Last year, when the pandemic put us all in lockdown, our connection to community gave us new purpose and we responded with action:
  • with our Summit Under Quarantine photo exhibit capturing both our isolation and our unity
  • with our civic-minded Brickhead mask installation 
  • by keeping our open-air gallery populated with new and exciting art 
  • by igniting Summit’s creativity with our city-wide Chalk Your Walk and snow sculpture contests
  • and by bringing you into artists’ studios through our regular Quarantine Art features on social media
Our connection to community continues to drive us in 2021:
  • with our new ARTLocal season featuring immensely talented local artists
  • and our first-ever light installation, City Lights, designed by Summit artist Steve Szynal, to mark special occasions and honor members of the local community

This year also brings another first for us:
  • a video installation from nationally acclaimed digital animator Sean Capone
  • and the return of our educational program RAMPUp, where Summit High School students are mentored by a teaching artist to create a public art installation
Also be on the lookout for news about our upcoming fundraising event on September 25th and a new permanent art installation coming soon to our downtown next year!

Through public art, we strive to add to the cultural vitality of our town and expand our sense of community pride. Next year, we will be celebrating our 20th year anniversary having installed over 120 art works. No one knows what the next twenty years will bring, but what we do know is that we look forward to continuing to provoke, educate, delight, and inspire!
Special nights like this don't happen without an enormous amount of help, which is why we'd like to thank SPA board member Taylor Kendra-Van Arsdale for organizing the event and Marie Cohen, Debi Schwarzmann, Ellen de Havilland, and everyone at Summit Public Art who led tours and helped to blow up and tie all those balloons! Thanks also to photographer and SPA member Christine Keeley (chrstinek_nyc) for so beautifully capturing the event and to Dylan Baker of BarBacoa for his assistance with our Water & Wine Gathering. Special thanks also to Mayor Nora Radest, Matthew DiLauri, David Naidu, Greg Vartan, and the Summit Common Council for their continued support.
Thank You, Summit!
All photos courtesy of Christine Keeley (@christinek_nyc)
Pictured on the Summit Village Green: (L to R): SPA Co-Chair Marie Cohen, Summit Councilman Greg Vartan, Summit Mayor Nora Radest, SPA board member Debi Schwarzmann, artist Karlis Rakevics, and SPA board member Taylor Kendra-Van Arsdale.
Pictured next to Kelsey Montague's mural What Lifts You: SPA Co-Chair Marie Cohen and Summit Mayor Nora Radest.
Enjoying the Water & Wine Gathering: (L to R): Fritz Ollom, Risa Gorelick, SPA Co-Chair Shally Saini, Andrea Stein, and Summit Councilman David Naidu.
Pictured (L to R): Artist Karlis Rakevics, Karly Klopfenstein, Michelle Miller, and SPA board member Brian Carpenter at the Water & Wine Gathering.
Artist Theda Sandiford on the Village Green with her found-object artwork Heights Over Springfield.
Artist Willie Cole with Theda Sandiford's work Redistricting on the Village Green.
SPA board member Estelle Fournier discusses Laurence de Valmy's artwork POST at the MONDO building on the Summit Promenade.
SPA board member Sarah Walko leads a guided art walk through downtown Summit.
Ready for the Tour?
Looking for an outing that's out of the ordinary? Head downtown and take a self-guided tour of all the new and exciting public art on display here in Summit!

Our theme this year is ARTLocal and we're proud to be featuring works by local artists from here in New Jersey and the tristate area. From a monument to a forgotten chapter in Summit history, to an interactive take on three iconic artists that asks "What if Instagram had always existed?", to a pair of innovative works that invite us to reflect on the traumatic events of the past year, our new season offers several must-see works by a host of internationally-acclaimed artists. And, as always, our open-air gallery remains free and open to families and art lovers of all ages.

Just bring along this handy guide and come see for yourself why Summit has earned a reputation as one of our state’s premier destinations for world-class public art!
To download a full guide to our new season, simply click here:
Or visit us at www.summitpublicart.com where you’ll find SPA’s full online gallery of inspiring works from both the past and the present. Then head downtown to see for yourself why Summit has earned a reputation as one of New Jersey’s premier destinations for world-class public art!
To learn more about Summit Public Art,
follow us on Instagram or Facebook
by clicking the links below:
From our followers:

"Particularly at a time like this, we need art
to help us stay in touch with our community."

“I LOVE that Summit is doing so much public art!”

“Truly one of the best perks of living in Summit is
the public art displayed. Thank you and looking
forward to the next installation!”

“Ten years ago, who would have thought
Summit would have an art scene? Love it!”

Summit Public Art Needs You
As a 100% volunteer-run, donor-funded, non-profit organization, we rely entirely on the generosity of Summit residents to provide the public art and community projects that you, your families, and visitors to our town enjoy on a daily basis. Since 2002, Summit Public Art has installed over 100 temporary art works, many by artists of national and international renown. If you would like to help us continue to enrich and inspire our community through public art, please click on the button below:
Stay safe and stay inspired!
Summit Public Art | summitpublicarts@gmail.com | www.summitpublicart.com