Home Culture New Art Installation, Of Many Minds, Takes Over Jersey City Waterfront

New Art Installation, Of Many Minds, Takes Over Jersey City Waterfront

by Erin Lanahan
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Commuters traveling to and from the Exchange Place PATH Station in Jersey City may have noticed the new faces greeting them as they get closer to the water. Fifteen sculptures by artist Michael Alfano make up Of Many Minds, a new art installation overlooking the Hudson River. The sculptures were installed in March 2024 and the exhibit is planned to run for the next year. Read on to learn about the different sculptures and the artist’s ties to the Tri-State area.

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The Many Faces Along The River

Between the Paulus Hook ferry terminal and the Exchange Place Path Station, 15 different sculptures line the waterfront. The works of art all depict a face with different presentations. Each sculpture is paired with a quote. Michael tells The Hoboken Girl he hopes each piece of art and the words paired with it foster curiosity and wonder. “My wish is for visitors to understand multiple points of view and experience their common humanity,” Michael said.

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For those who can’t make it to Jersey City to see the sculptures, here’s a preview of some of the statues looking at the Manhattan skyline. One sculpture of a face in the shape of a question mark, titled Questioning Mind, is paired with the following; “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein.

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Further down the pier, a paint bucket spilling onto a face is matched with the quote, “Turn towards the sun and all shadows will fall behind you,” which is adapted from Charles Swain, according to the website. Another one is titled Flow, and its quote reads, “It’s not about disappearing into the ocean, but of becoming the ocean,” from Kahlil Gibran.

The full map of the sculptures can be found on Michael’s website here.

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Alfano’s Tri-State Connections

Michael Alfano is currently based in Massachusetts but studied art at the Art Students League of New York, focusing on life-size sculpture and anatomy. He tells HG he grew up in New York City and Long Island and is familiar with the Tri-State area. In 2020, one of his pieces was selected by The Exchange Place Alliance to be displayed on Warren Street in Jersey City. He came to visit when it was time to install the piece, titled Beacon. Michael says during his visits to Jersey City, he met a lot of friendly faces and enjoyed interacting with a lot of helpful people who worked with him to install other sculptures.

 


 

From June 2022 to December 2023, Michael created his Of Many Minds exhibit to display along the Boston waterfront. He told HG it’s different from the exhibit in Jersey City, but had many of the same sculptures. When the exhibit ended in Boston, Michael remembered how he enjoyed Jersey City’s waterfront overlooking New York City from his previous travels. “It’s one of the most impressive backdrops I could hope for, and it’s a gorgeous area,” Michael said. He recognized the vibrant street art Jersey City has and believed his sculptures would fit in well.

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Photo Credit: Michael Alfano

As Michael said, The Exchange Place Alliance sponsored his exhibit. The organization maintains the Exchange Place area of Jersey City by removing snow, cleaning streets, and conducting repairs. They also work to reimagine public spaces, such as bringing in artwork like Michael’s to beautify the community.

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For those who can’t get Of Many Minds out of their minds, Michael’s art is available for purchase. Information about buying his art and other inquiries can be found on his website. If art fans are looking to check out more street art in Hoboken and Jersey City, read this HG guide to seek out the works of art in the area.

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