Hoboken Launches New Arts Project for City Benches

The Hoboken Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs have launched a new art initiative in town called Operation Sit-In. The new project was headed by Hoboken artist Greg Brehm who participated in the Utuliaty Art Project that livened up the streets of Hoboken during the height of the pandemic. A hint – this new project involves pigeons!

Operation Sit-In

(Photo credit: Pigeonops.com)

Greg depicted his signature pigeon designs on the utility box located on the corner of 8th and Washinton Street. The pigeons, four on each side of the utility box, were painted in bright, bold colors, shown interacting with one another as they look outside their “brownstone” windows, hanging garments on a clothing line – in true old-Hoboken style.

Greg told Hoboken Girl back in 2020 that his box was titled ‘Home Sweet Hoboken’ and explained the inspiration behind it saying “I turned my box into a mini Hoboken row-house and filled it with pigeons, instead of people. I made it really bright and festive. If it makes people smile, it’s good. If a few recognize that it isn’t just a mural of a silly house with colorful pigeons, but also a celebration of a home filled with family who is all brilliantly different and fundamentally the same, well, that would be particularly nice.”

hoboken utility boxes artists

Greg expanded on his signature design through the Operation Sit-In project. The project is based on 25 benches throughout the town in parks and on street corners. The pigeons are spray painted onto foam board and placed on the benches.

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“Hoboken is filled with everyday folks. We’re everyday pigeons. So, we thought we’d sit back and enjoy the city for a while. Please, drop by and sit down with us! Maybe we can take a selfie or two,” it states on the artist’s website.

Operation Sit-In

(Photo credit: Pigeonops.com)

The artist chose to pay tribute to Hoboken history through his designs. Locals will see a pigeon dressed as a soldier, an ode to Hoboken’s role in World War I;  a pigeon holding a bat, nodding to the first-ever game played in town; a pigeon holding an ice cream cone, one of several inventions that came to fruition in town; and a pigeon with a camera in honor of prestigious photographer Alfred Stieglitz, a Hoboken resident.

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Greg shared some behind-the-scenes looks at the inspo on his art Instagram account @pigeon.ops.

 

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At least one of the pigeon installations has already been completed, with the rest to be added throughout the coming months. Visit the Pigeon Ops website for a map that details where the pigeons can be found.

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Written by:

Victoria is HG's Associate Editor and Social Media Coordinator for the Hoboken Historical Museum + Fire Department Museum. She is also a Board Member of LUPE Fund – a nonprofit by Latinas for Latinas. Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, trying new restaurants, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.


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