By Anthony J. Machcinski
As spring begins and buds sprout, a number of local businesses hope that a new initiative by the Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone (KUEZ) helps to stimulate their own growth.
With the combined effort of the KUEZ and Kearny High School, 20 businesses had their windows painted on April 24 and 25. The window painting is a contest for the KUEZ. Patrons have to find the Kearny Kardinal within five window paintings and place their submissions within any of the participating stores.
Winners will be chosen from correct entries and randomly selected. The lucky winner will receive a Kearny Shopping Spree.
The main goal of the KUEZ window painting is to drive up revenue in the town and hopefully push people to shop locally.
“Not only are (shoppers) discovering businesses that they may not have known existed, but the people are forced to go inside and drop off the submissions,” said KUEZ coordinator John Peneda, who also commented that by being in the store, shoppers will be more likely to look around the inside of the stores.
The window paintings come in two variations, a kite design and a nature design. The designs were created by Kearny High art teachers Chris McShane and John Bednarczyk.
“The KUEZ asked us to come up with a simple style design, nothing too complicated,” said Supervisor of Art, Music, and Media at Kearny High Kathleen Astrella. “The students then created templates for the windows for them to work on.”
The idea was met with excitement from students of the high school’s art program, who came out in droves to sign up for the project.
“Several teachers had signup sheets in their rooms,” Astrella explained. “We had 38 students sign up the first day and another 24 on the second day.”
However, just because the artwork was done by students doesn’t mean that the quality of work suffered.
“The kids did a great job,” said Maggie Millar, owner of Irish Quality Shop on Kearny Ave. who was one of the twenty businesses that signed up. “I had a choice between the two different designs and they were also able to incorporate a shamrock into it. It looks very nice.”
However, Millar was not the only business that had a piece of their identity incorporated into the painting.
“The owner of (Eminent Paintball) had some input into his window like putting some paintball splats on the window and a mask on the girl in the window,” Astrella said. “(All the businesses) are all pretty nice.”
The participating businesses include Gild-N-Son, Irish Quality Shop, Kearny Gold Store, Kearny Mattress Outlet, Mr. Nino’s II Brick Oven Trattoria, Rosa’s Accountax Services, Firepit Barbeque, Hey There… Cupcake!, Brazilian Spices, A&J Seabra’s Supermarket, Midtown Pharmacy, Cathy’s Hair Fashion Center, Eminent Paintball, Fighting Tigers DoJo, Clydesdale Auto Body, Coccia Reality, Applebee;s, Brady, Brady & Reilly, and Mace Brother’s Fine Furniture.