'A New View Camden' art installation changing perception of waterfront city

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A public art exhibit in Camden, New Jersey is creating scenic views while spreading an important message about the environment.

"A New View Camden" launched on Earth Day.

"This is really about reclaiming our environment," says Kris Kolluri, president and CEO of Cooper's Ferry.

Six public art structures are on display around Camden.

"We want to make sure that the art is a means by which we change the perception of the city," Kolluri describes.

The beautiful scenes also highlight important environmental issues like illegal dumping affecting Camden and many cities.

"We have people who come and dump tires, materials, and all kinds of household garbage, refrigerators, washers," said Kolluri.

These reclaimed locations raise awareness while also creating park-like destinations in the city.

"Turntable" is a wind-powered globe that uses waste to create art while revisiting Camden's rich history.

"We're kind of bringing the two things together in a wind-powered turntable," said Amanda Schachter, principal of SLO Architect.

It is a nod to RCA Records history in the city and windmill island, which was instrumental in commerce in the 18th century.

"Revive Camden's discarded histories," states Schachter.

The structure is made of recycled plastic, and the dome weaves hundreds of masks representing a little-talked-about side effect of the pandemic.

"It's the discarded plastic of this year. I think everybody can relate to it," says Schachter.

Along the route, you'll find a colossal robot nicknamed "The Collector," a gigantic panther protector called "Invincible Cat", a garden with mealworms that eat Styrofoam and a clay park.

"This is a site of a former incinerator," said Donna Dodson.

Dodson and partner Andy Moerlein are known as the "Mythmakers."

"The sculpture behind us is made out of bamboo. We get it harvested sustainably," explains Moerlein.

It's called the Phoenix Festival.

"The myth of the phoenix is that it's a magical bird that's reborn every 500 years," clarifies Donna.

They hope to convey a similar message about Camden.

"We continue to use these beautiful open spaces as a congregating point for residents and visitors," declares Kolluri.

"A New View Camden" is free and open to the public through October 2021. CLICK HERE to learn more.
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