Just about a year after local artists painted murals on utility boxes along Washington Street, Hoboken is set to welcome another public art project that should emerge in the coming days.
Earlier this year, the Hoboken Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs signed off on an endeavor dubbed Operation Sit-In. The initiative comes from Hoboken-based artist Greg Brehm, who painted a mural dubbed “Home Sweet Hoboken” at 8th and Washington streets last year.
Operation Sit-In is “designed to bring a unique, fun, big, photo friendly, public art project” to the city via an invasion of pigeons to the benches of Hoboken engaging in “decidedly non-pigeon activities.” Several of Brehm’s designs celebrate the city’s history and include a pigeon with a train that pays tribute to John Stevens, who constructed the first steam locomotive.
A soldier pigeon will detail Hoboken’s vital role in World War I, while another pays homage to America’s first brewery that was founded in the city during 1641 by Dutch immigrants. A planned pigeon for Elysian Park puts the first baseball game ever played front and center, while a pigeon with a camera nods to renowned photographer and Hoboken’s own Alfred Stieglitz.
The pigeons themselves will be spray painted onto foam board and mounted to benches throughout the city. A total of 25 birds will be set up around Hoboken, including several at Stevens Park and Church Square Park.
An Instagram account called @pigeon.ops recently posted “some not subtle foreshadowing” trumpeting the artwork’s impending rollout. The cost of installation will be covered by Brehm and Hoboken’s parks department will oversee the process.
Pigeon Ops has created a website that features an interactive map detailing where the art will be set up. The installation should start rolling out soon and is scheduled to be in place for the next three months.