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Bette Klegon Halby: Installation Celebrates the Regeneration of Jersey City, NJ

Bette Laughing

Black Jax, a new commissioned work by Bette Klegon Halby (BS Design, 1962), was recently installed in the lobby of a uniquely innovative high rise building in Jersey City, New Jersey. 

Declaring the start of a new era for Downtown Jersey City, Mayor Steve Fulop and developers Forest City Real Estate celebrated construction of the new residential high-rise near Newport Mall, the first of 12 towers planned for the site over the next 20 years. 

The city fuels my practice and fills my soul. It serves as both a platform for thinking afresh and a vehicle for reflection. With its excitement, energy, emotion, rhythm, conflict, and intensity, the urban landscape is my source of inspiration for Black Jax. The work is a metaphor for the drumming street rhythms and lyrical qualities of city life. Black Jax is a painting. Black Jax is a sculpture. Created in canvas — a soft medium — it is painted, shaped and hardened to form a sculptural whole.” 

City Planning Director Bob Cotter says, It’s a very good time for us,” he said. We’ve seen a ratcheting up in the creative class. Now we’re getting more.” 

The long-term plan for the entire 18-acre site, now called Metro Plaza, includes a revamped street grid that will connect the site to the neighborhood across Marin Boulevard and to the Waterfront, plus a public plaza.