During construction of the new Art and Interactive Multimedia Building, public art was installed on the quadrangle between the new building, Paul Loser Hall, and the Music Building. The installation—titled Pixels, and created by award-winning Morris County–based artist Willie Cole—features four large, multicolored spheres. A committee of faculty, students, and staff from the Department of Art, the Interactive Multimedia Program, the College Art Gallery, and the Office of Campus Planning, in consultation with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, selected Cole from a roster of more than 75 artists.
“The wonderful thing about public art is that it announces itself, and our Willie Cole Pixels have arrived on campus in their full splendor,” John Laughton, dean of the School of the Arts and Communication, wrote in an e-mail. The installation is part of a public art initiative that is taking place at TCNJ. Moving forward, the College plans to include public art installations with all new buildings constructed on campus, said Lynda Kane Rothermel, campus architect and director of campus planning. New Jersey law dictates that buildings constructed through public funding must set aside up to one and one-half percent of the estimated construction costs toward public art installations.
“The state isn’t funding our projects so we don’t have to comply with that, but in the spirit of the statute, the College has chosen to make its own protocol,” Kane Rothermel explained. She said that one-third of one percent of the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building’s construction costs has been used for the Pixels installation.