Children’s mural identifies peace, love, hope and community in Bordentown City


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The Bordentown Arts initiative includes a mural component, which will teach children the importance of peace, love, hope and community.

Bordentown City resident Leon Stanley launched Bordentown Arts, whose mission is “to create, showcase and celebrate arts and culture in and around Bordentown City,” he said.

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Part of the initiative is the Children’s Mural Project, inspired by the pandemic and 2020’s acute social unrest.

The project hopes to be a manifestation of Lincoln’s “better angels of our nature,” Stanley said.

The mural was unveiled on May 8 at the Bordentown City Municipal Complex. It is comprised of four separate, 4-foot by 8-foot panels, with each panel having a particular theme, being peace, love, hope and community.

“We are especially excited about the roster of artists who have committed to volunteering their time and talent to the project. Hamilton artist Tom Kelly’s design will be inspired by hope. Bordentown City artist Jessica Petty’s design will be inspired by love. Cranbury artist Catherine Martzloff’s design will be inspired by peace. Lastly, Princeton native Marlon Davila’s design will be inspired by community,” Stanley said.

Each panel was designed by the artist, with the panels then painted by Macfarland Intermediate School students.

As the children were not able to assemble for any school group projects, the artist’s design was transferred to a 4 x 8 panel, with the panel then cut into smaller sections (16 inches to 24 inches) for each child to then paint autonomously at home, he said.

The works were then reassembled, almost as a mosaic.

“Symbolically this forced tactic introduces a sub-theme to the project: that though we are still mostly forced to be apart, we nevertheless continue to be a part of, and work within, a larger whole,” Stanley said.

The Downtown Bordentown Association’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a budget for the purchasing of the materials and supplies required for the project, thus there  was no out of pocket expenses for the families of children participated, Stanley said.

“Our goal in undertaking this project is to have artists, but more especially our children, in their own special way, memorialize this incredibly unique and demanding time in our history. And to have the work serve as a reminder of the values that, as a community, helped carry us through this unprecedented time,” Stanley said.

For more information on the project, visit 


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