Community Description

West Windsor Township is located in central New Jersey, 4 miles from Princeton University, 48 miles from Philadelphia and 60 miles from Manhattan. West Windsor was established initially in 1682. The West Windsor train station is served by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. Its cultural activities and attractions include the West Windsor Arts Center, West Windsor Farmers’ Market, summer concerts, community festivals and organizations, and several town parks.

On October 30, 1938, during Orson Welles’ infamous radio broadcast of the “War of the Worlds,” local residents, and a nationwide audience, heard that an alien spacecraft had landed in Grover’s Mill (a farming village in West Windsor), Martians had emerged, and were planning to invade the United States. Although the broadcast was a radio drama based on H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel, “The War of the Worlds,” many people believed it was a factual newscast, which sparked widespread public panic and media outrage. Today, a monument stands near Grover’s Mill Pond in Van Nest Park to commemorate this exciting historic event.

Project Description

The West Windsor Arts Council (WWAC) wants to commemorate the War of the Worlds radio broadcast with a permanent, outdoor, township-wide, family-friendly, series of public sculpture installations, collectively called The mARTian Project. Multiple sculptures will be installed in various highly trafficked locations in historic West Windsor. When complete, these installations will help build a stronger sense of community identity, encourage people to learn about the township’s history and create permanent outdoor sculpture installations for all to enjoy. The Mission of the Project is: 

“The mARTian Project is a public art initiative to enhance the quality of life in West Windsor with art and cultural activities to promote a connection between our community and its unique history as the town portrayed in the infamous 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast.”

The WWAC’s goal is to have the first proposals in time to be featured in the West Windsor Township celebration of the 80th anniversary of the War of the Worlds radio broadcast to will be held on the weekend of October 27, 2018. Additional sculptures will be added on an ongoing basis.

Project Guidelines

  • The mARTian Project is open to all sculptors who are at least 18 years of age, regardless of location.  
  • All entries must be original work and of safe design and construction.
  • A sculpture is defined as a visual work of art in two- or three-dimensions, which can be viewed from multiple sides.
  • Sculptures must be Martian-like images or related to the “War of the Worlds,” of any size, that are family-friendly and aesthetically appropriate for display in public places.  Some examples of the family-friendly criterion include absence of violence, nudity, bias, and hate.
  • The sculpture must be able to be structurally secured to a concrete pad or the exterior surface (e.g., wall or roof) of a building.
  • Sculptors are responsible for providing specific requirements for mounting a sculpture (e.g., types of fasteners or adhesives).
  • Materials may include but are not limited to: metal, plastic, stone, ceramic or any other durable material that can withstand varying temperatures (approximately 22 - 95 degrees Fahrenheit), humidity (approximately 50 – 100% relative humidity), hurricanes, blizzards and other outdoor elements.
  • Sculptors are responsible for transporting the artwork to West Windsor, NJ. The WWAC will be responsible for sculpture installation, in consultation with the sculptor.
  • Each sculptor selected to have her/his sculpture included in The mARTian Project installations will receive a $1,000 honorarium to help defray costs of transportation and other expenses involved. The source of funding for The mARTian Project is donations from individuals and organizations.
  • The sculptures included in The mARTian Project will become the property of the West Windsor Arts Council.
  • The schedule for installation of each sculpture will be mutually determined by the artist and WWAC.

When reviewing sculpture proposals, some of the important considerations will be:

  • safety to the public (i.e., no sharp edges, no points, no breakable or bendable components, no climbing hazards, no barbed wire, etc.)
  • outdoor durability
  • appropriate for family-friendly audience
  • connection to War of the Worlds theme

Multiple sculpture proposals may be submitted for consideration. 

Selection Process

Sculpture proposals will be reviewed by a committee that includes diverse business professionals and artists from the West Windsor area.  The artwork will be judged on artistic merit, originality, technical quality and durability, in addition to the important considerations listed above.  The selected sculptors may be interviewed by phone to further discuss their proposed sculpture.  Selected sculptors must enter into a contractual agreement approved by the West Windsor Arts Council.

Benefits to the Sculptor

  • $1,000 honorarium to be paid after successful installation.
  • Sculpture exhibited at high visibility sites in West Windsor, NJ.
  • A plaque with the sculptor’s and sculpture name posted near the artwork.
  • An ongoing promotional campaign that will include print media and electronic media on a website dedicated to the project. The website will have information about each sculptor and sculpture, and a map guiding visitors to the locations of all the March of the mARTians sculptures.

For questions, please contact martianproject@westwindsorarts.org.