Mural painting under way

NEWTON. Residents are asked to sign up for hour-long sessions through Thursday.

Newton /
| 30 Jul 2023 | 09:49

Residents may help change the look of Newton by taking part in the painting of a mural that depicts the town’s most popular and well-known locations.

The project, which starts Sunday, July 30, will be broken into hour-long sessions during which 20 people are assigned a section to work on. The sessions continue through Thursday, Aug. 3.

To sign up for a session, go online to

There is limit of two sessions per person. For information, send email to

The mural was designed by Caren Olmsted, an artist from Basking Ridge who has created more than 20 town murals.

Olmsted, who previously taught middle school for five years, worked with town officials to come up with ideas for the mural that incorporated what residents love most about Newton.

“I believe that we are all born artists, so I’m excited to work with the townspeople,” she said.

Essentially, she has created a giant coloring book for volunteers to follow. After everyone has a chance to paint part of the mural, Olmsted will go back over the details, completing the masterpiece.

The installation of the mural will take place after Labor Day on the corner of Moran and Spring streets.

Newton decided on the mural project after the community voted for it in a survey. The town has been making upgrades for the past couple of years after receiving a $125,000 grant from the state.

A five-year designation by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Neighborhood Preservation Program helps fund projects that create visual change for residents and business owners.

Jessica Caldwell, principal planner at J Caldwell & Associates, has been helping plan the mural and the previous projects.

“It has been a really great grant for us because it allows us to do things that unify the downtown. So far, we have placed planters on the streets and painted winter artwork on buildings during the holidays and improved the facade on the buildings,” she said.

Caldwell expressed her gratitude for the state grant and for the community’s help with these projects.

The previous projects have increased foot traffic in Newton, she said.

The next project will be decorating the alleyways in the downtown area with string lights and paintings.

Residents may sign up to help paint the mural during hour-long sessions from Sunday, July 30 through Thursday, Aug. 3. There is limit of two sessions per person. To sign up for a session, go online to For information, send email to