Animodules at Newark Liberty International: Public Art by the Public

By Mackenzie Cutruzzula, Terminal B Operations Intern

Newark Liberty International Airport takes great pride in its Jersey roots.

During Newark Liberty’s recent modernization efforts, Terminal B made it a priority to incorporate into its design some of the flair and local flavor of the City of Newark as a way to distinguish itself.

That’s why airport officials at Terminal B were super excited at the opportunity to showcase the creative potential of Newark’s school children through the work of the Barat Foundation, the Newark-based nonprofit and creator of Animodules.  

Described by the foundation as “public art by the public,” international visitors arriving at Newark Liberty’s Terminal B are treated to the dazzling display of a sculptural menagerie created by Newark students working with local artists.

What exactly is an animodule?  The name is short for “animated module,” an urban art form created in 2006 by Terry Brewin, a teacher at Newark’s Vocational High School, to engage groups by creating art that represents their community.  Most frequently shaped to mimic an animal, they are made by connecting two or more flat planes together to create a third dimension.

The eight-foot-high sculptures include an airplane, a dragon, two large elephants and a Siamese cat which circulate between the airport and other exhibition venues.  The installation includes two screens of running video explaining how the works are created. Terminal B also has dedicated space to highlight the collaborative stories students put together about each Animodule.

These art works have introduced more than 500,000 international guests to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan region, including famous professional athletes, the Dalai Lama and travelers from around the world.

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