WEST ORANGE, NJ — It came. It thrilled. It painted. And it gave West Orange a glimpse at the future of mural-making.
On Wednesday and Thursday, two masterpieces were born in Essex County, New Jersey, with the help of a wall-crawling “printer” robot. Looking vaguely similar to a pool-cleaning bot, the machine spray-painted pre-programmed renditions of designs from West Orange resident and graphic artist Ryan Zorad.
The result? A pair of stunningly detailed robo-masterpieces.
Navigating its way across the “canvases” – two buildings in the heart of downtown West Orange – the Vincent van Gogh-bot blasted images designed to honor the town’s past as it glided up and down the walls, suspended by guide cables laid out in a grid pattern.
The first mural, located on 269 Main Street, features iconic inventor Thomas Edison holding a lightbulb with a glowing filament inside his lab, one of the town’s most storied landmarks.
The second mural, seen at 276 Main Street, portrays a colorful, vintage scene of Tory Corner in West Orange taken from a 1920s postcard. According to the Downtown West Orange Alliance, which spearheaded the unique art event with the help of Main Street NJ:
“Zorad took artistic license in blending the past with the present showing the transformation of Main Street from the trolleys to the NJ Transit buses that are now seen on Main Street with the same route number. Other elements include historical details such as an ad for Musler’s Blacksmith Shop which was the last blacksmith on Main Street and a horse drawn delivery wagon from Becker’s Farm Dairy in nearby Roseland that was a common site on Main Street in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”
The Downtown West Orange Alliance expects the murals to inspire more visitors to the township, which will translate into more revenue for local stores and restaurants.
“It’s our hope that there will be an economic benefit to the business and property owners in the area,” Executive Director Megan Brill said.
Watch the amazing art robot in action below. Don’t forget to visit the Patch West Orange Facebook page here.
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Main photo courtesy of West Orange Township