Monmouth Timeline Inc., a website that presents the illustrated history of Monmouth County, has announced the second year of its art initiative to commission new illustrations of stories from the 400 years of history in the region.
“The simple fact is that for many of the most important stories from our past, no art exists whatsoever,” said John R. Barrows, founder and editor of Monmouth Timeline. “Last year, we decided to take the initiative and begin finding talented artists interested in history topics and paid them to illustrate our stories.”
To apply for a Monmouth Timeline commission, go to Upwork.com (registration required, but no fee to join), and search for the job posting headed “Artists Wanted to illustrate historical topics in Monmouth County, New Jersey.”
According to a press release, new art commissioned by Monmouth Timeline in 2021 included The Fatal Showdown Btween Joshua Huddy and Col. Tye (by Charlie Swerdlow); Booker T. Washington Comes to Red Bank for Historic Meeting with T. Thomas Fortune (by Jarrad Crutcher); and Wreckers! The Land Pirates of Monmouth County (by Charlie Swerdlow).
“Last year, as we tried this for the very first time, we worked with young artists who are not local residents, but were the most talented of those who applied for the commissions,” said Barrows. “This year, we want to try as much as possible to work with local artists and illustrators, and we always try to match an artist with an aspect of history for which they have an affinity.”
Topics that will be the focus of this year’s commissions include stories from the Revolutionary War era, Black history, and women’s history, all of which are under-represented in terms of historic art or illustration, according to the press release.
Monmouth Timeline is working with leaders from local nonprofit historical preservation organizations to help identify those stories most deserving of new art, according to the press release.
“We welcome all artistic styles and believe diversity in our artists and artistic styles will result in a rich and growing tapestry of new and compelling images from our past that have the power to endure, educate and inspire,” said Barrows.
Through these commissions, artists create a digital image for use by Monmouth Timeline on its website and in graphic features distributed via social media called This Day in Monmouth County History.
The commission includes the creation of an artist’s signed print, suitable for public display. For example, the original Monmouth Timeline artwork of T. Thomas Fortune is currently on display at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center in Red Bank.
The artist retains full ownership of the copyright for their work, so they are able to sell prints or monetize their work beyond the commission. Monmouth Timeline owns digital usage rights in perpetuity, with limited licensing rights for use in merchandise and unsigned prints, according to the press release.
For more information, visit MonmouthTimeline.org