Togetherness Trail

Submitted by Sarah Langsam

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Client: Summit Public Art and Summit Park Line Foundation

Location: Summit, NJ, United States

Completion date: Jan 01, Array

Artwork budget: $9,000

Project Team

Artist

Sarah Langsam

Self

Art Selection Committee Co-Chair

Debi Schwarzmann

Summit Public Art

President

Robert Rubino

Summit Park Line Foundation

Overview

This site-specific installation, runs over 600 feet in length, along The Parkline hiking trail in Summit, NJ. Its visibility from the street at a major intersection makes a large impact on its immediate environment. The artwork, which is constructed from over 1500 of plywood rings that are intertwined with one another, gradates through all the colors of the rainbow; something that has become a symbol of diversity and acceptance in our society.

To create the “puzzled” rings, which are used in about two thirds of the rings, Langsam held workshops throughout the community and worked with different organizations to give the public the opportunity to participate in the creation of the project. Each ring is unique and representative of those individuals who made it and plays an important part in supporting the project as a whole. This duality celebrates individuality while also championing unity and togetherness.

The rings hang from a railing built in a similar fashion; thousands of fallen branches from the adjacent woods are repurposed and intertwined to form a unified whole. This installation speaks out against the hate and division we see around us and, instead, strives to promote love and togetherness.

Togetherness Trail was commissioned by Summit Public Art and Summit Parkline Foundation.

Goals

The Parkline Hiking Trail is a beautiful green space in the middle of a heavily trafficked area. However its entrance is not obvious, and many people don't know about it. A main goal was to bring more attention to the trail and Parkline project. Another goal was for the installation to give the trail a more cohesive and finished look.

Process

This project involved the collaboration of countless numbers of people. I worked extensively with Summit Public Art and The Summit Parkline Foundation for about a year to bring this project to fruition. They first came to me, gave me some ideas of what they were looking for, and asked me submit a project. Once a project was approved by those two organizations it took multiple months to get the permits and permissions from the towns. From there I organized workshops where community members were able to come and help create the rings that hang in the installation. I also had assistants helping me cut rings and paint.