Gateways to Newark


is a public art and landscape beautification initiative which aims to beautify each of the city’s entryways.


Newark, NJ – May 16, 2016 – The Newark Downtown District (NDD) announced the transformation of the Amtrak retention wall on Route 21 in Newark, NJ into the country’s second longest mural — approximately the length of 25 football fields. Phase I of the Gateways to Newark project, “Portraits,” is the first of several entryway renewal and beautification projects that will include public art, spurring economic growth, and markedly changing first impressions for travelers entering Newark.

The {PORTRAITS} mural is the inaugural project in this historic transformation, and is now the longest in the East Coast. Created by 18 local and international artists and located on McCarter Highway, the mural is estimated to be viewed by 1 million travelers per month.

“The Gateways to Newark initiative—and specifically the Portraits mural—will have a monumental impact on people’s perceptions of the City,” said Newark Downtown District CEO Anthony McMillan. “The NDD has worked for nearly two decades to make downtown Newark cleaner, greener, and safer. The results of our hard work are evident throughout the district and now along McCarter Highway. The Portraits mural represents our continued commitment to those who live, labor, and leisure in downtown Newark.”

The mural is being funded by the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, through a grant provided by the City of Newark, and paint is being subsidized by Sherwin Williams. Other partners include Amtrak, Panasonic, Edison Properties and Ray’s Enterprises. Rebecca Pauline Jampol

Rebecca Pauline Jampol (Gateway Project Spaces and Solo(s) Project House, Newark, NJ) is curating the project along with artist and coordinator *Lunar New Year. Eighteen world-renowned lead artists are working on “Portraits”.  The artists are: *Adrienne Wheeler (NJ, USA), *Akintola Hanif (NJ, USA), *David D. Oquendo (NJ, USA), Don Rimx (FL, USA), El Decertor (PERU), GAIA (MD, USA), *GERA (NJ, USA), *Kevin Darmanie (NJ, USA), *Khari Johnson-Ricks (NJ, USA), *Manuel Acevedo, (NY, USA), *Mata Ruda (AZ, USA), Nanook (MD, USA),  *Nina Chanel Abney (NJ, USA), Sonni (NY, USA), Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (NY, USA), WERC (Mexico) and Zéh Palito (Brazil).  (*indicates Newark artists)

As the City celebrates its 350th anniversary, the artists have designed pieces that pay homage to Newark’s history, while also celebrating its present and future. Of the artists, 10 are from Newark and the remainder come from as far away as Brazil, reflecting the ethnic and cultural tapestry of the region. “Portraits” celebrates the uniqueness and oneness of our City,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “The mural honors our rich history, cultural intersections, and narratives of day-to-day life here in Newark. The images represent a powerful, yet entertaining and spirited, compilation of visual expressions.”


Please visit below for a comprehensive look at this project.

Gateways to Newark