By Karen Zautyk
Blossoms are blooming all over town these days, and it’s all thanks to the Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone (KUEZ) and some artistically talented students from Kearny High School. Not to mention a bunch of cooperative buinesses that have allowed their windows to be transformed from plate glass to, figuratively speaking, canvases.
Over the course of two days last week — Wednesday and Thursday — some 60 to 70 KHS kids took to the streets with brushes and paint, creating colorful floral displays as part of the KUEZ’s second annual Windows of Spring project.
First launched last year, it proved to be a popular and successful promotion, prompting residents and visitors alike to tour the town to view the murals and patronize the participating businesses.
Part of the project involves a contest: a hunt for Kearny Kardinals hidden among some of the flowers.
There are 18 KUEZ businesses with decorated windows, but only five will feature the KHS mascot. Find all five (look sharp!), and you can be eligible to win a KUEZ shopping spree.
John Peneda, KUEZ coordinator, said Windows of Spring arose from a brainstorming session last year. He and KUEZ publicist Linda Kraus-D’Isa were discussing promotional projects, “and Linda came up with this idea,” Peneda said. “She knew it had worked in another town.”
The KUEZ then recruited the KHS students, most of whom are enrolled in at least one art class at the school.
With the cooperation of Martin Hoff, chairman of the Department of Music/Art/ Media, and art teacher Chris McShane, the project was organized and brought to fruition.
Last week, two contingents comprising 30-35 different students per day completed the task, in teams of three to five per window. They worked during school hours and can include the time as community service hours if they wish, a school spokesman noted.
“I love this whole event,” Peneda told us, “not only because of the Kearny High School students’ involvement but also because it encourages people to go all over town.
“They might go to an area that they normally don’t frequent and find a store they didn’t know existed — and, hopefully, go in and shop.”
The Windows of Spring contest runs May 7-21.
The participating businesses are:
• Applebee’s (175 Passaic Ave.)
• Cathy Hair Fashion (828 Kearny Ave.)
• Classic Dry Cleaners (374 Belleville Tpk.) • Cleaner America (787 Kearny Ave.)
• Clydesdale Auto Body (471-481 Schuyler Ave.)
• Coccia Realty (636 Kearny Ave.)
• Fruit Cholada (4 Kearny Ave.)
• G & M Garcia Agency (439-457 Kearny Ave.)
• Irish Quality Shop (465 Kearny Ave.) • LF Signs & Hobbies (124 Schuyler Ave.)
• Mace Brothers Fine Furniture (512 Kearny Ave.)
• Metro PCS (350 Kearny Ave.)
• Midtown Pharmacy (581 Kearny Ave.)
• Neno-Rosa Agency (551- 553 Kearny Ave.)
• Piper’s Cove (212 Kearny Ave.)
• Sajonia Delight Spa (856 Kearny Ave.)
• ShopRite of Kearny (100 Passaic Ave.)
• Yo-Lish Yogurt (252 Kearny Ave.)
Remember, only five of these windows feature a Kearny Kardinal. You must find all five birds and ID their location. Winners will be chosen from correct entries received. Entry boxes will be located in businesses participating in the promotion.