TAU TIMELINE

  • South Orange residents Lennie Pierro and Judy Wukitsch start The Gallery of South Orange in the Baird Center with help from motivated community volunteers.


    The Gallery officially opens 2 1/2 months after renovating space in the 100-year-old Tudor-style building, home of the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

  • The Gallery of South Orange, operated through the department by volunteers, begins to develop its significant reputation within the art world.

  • "Tony Smith: Architect, Painter, Sculptor" retrospective opens at Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Pierro first learns Smith was 3rd generation South Orange resident and seeks to commemorate the famous native son.

  • First informal meeting is held at The Gallery of South Orange to discuss a Smith sculpture for South Orange. Attendees include Lennie Pierro, Judy Wukitsch, Star Ledger art reviewer Dan Bischoff, Susan Napack and Bonnie Jaffee. Pierro begins to champion the cause.

  • Lennie Pierro dies suddenly from cancer. In his honor, the Village renames The Gallery of South Orange as Pierro Gallery of South Orange.

  • The Lennie Pierro Memorial Arts Foundation is created to honor the artist, advocate, art professor, co-founder of Pierro Gallery of South Orange and Village resident. The goals: to display a Tony Smith sculpture in South Orange and to build a scholarship fund at Kean University where Pierro was professor.


    SSP meets with the Tony Smith Estate and Matthew Marks Gallery to discuss possibilities.


    Smith's widow, Jane, agrees to give sculpture fabrication rights to South Orange Village.


    LPMAF hosts its first fund-raising gala, "A Benefit to Realize a Dream" at the Woman's Club of Maplewood. A film with the same name is produced by Nancy Heins-Glaser, profiling the lives and legacies of Lennie Pierro and Tony Smith.


    TSSP visits Princeton University and Philadelphia to research selections and site considerations for a Smith sculpture in South Orange.


    The downtown train station plaza in South Orange is selected for the sculpture location. Jane Smith and family identify Tau as the sculpture of choice for South Orange.


    TSSP holds community meetings to introduce Smith and the project to organizations and neighborhoods.

  • Ann Kearsley designs a plan for the sculpture area and surrounding plaza, reflective of Smith's geometric interests and spatial awareness.


    Architect, historian and South Orange resident, David Rifkind, delivers lecture, "Who is Tony Smith" as part of the Active Mind series of the SOMA Adult School. Resident Cheryl Arnedt, LPMAF Vice-President, introduces the TS project.

  • Impassioned group of residents leads protest over municipal funding for public sculpture. TSSP relinquishes Village from pledge of further funding and revisits location for Tau.


    The site for Tau is moved to Meadowlands Park on a slope between the duck pond and North Ridgewood Road, near the Baird Center, home of the PGOSO.


    TSSP hosts "A Day of Opulence and Minimalism," a day trip to The Breakers, the Newport cottage of Cornelious Vanderbilt, Rhode Island and the Lippencott Foundry to see the in-process fabrication of Tau.


    LPMAF hosts Art and Soul gala at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club honoring community activist, Realtor Roy Scott.


    Attendees at the Art and Soul gala include Kiki and Seton Smith, prominent, widely recognized artists who grew up in South Orange and attended Columbia High School.


    Landscape architect, Ann Kearsley prepares a new site plan for Meadowland Park including tree restoration that follows the park's original design.


    Through the South Orange Maplewood Education Foundation, LPMAF awards numerous grants to public school teachers to support fine arts projects. Some are directly inspired by Smith's concepts.


  • LPMAF hosts "A Little Night Music," an open garden party celebrating the Tau 100, a grass roots effort recognizing the project's most committed donors.

  • Ground is broken in preparation for installing Tau, a 15,000 lb. steel sculpture. Leading the opening effort are LPMAF President Judy Wukitsch, key TSSP supporter Kathy Nye; honoree and Realtor Roy Scott; and Village President, Douglas Newman.


    November, Tau arrives in South Orange and is installed in Meadowland Park amid great fanfare and community pride.


    First scholarship is awarded to an incoming fine art student at Kean University under the leadership of Kean University Development.


  • On April 18, the community dedication celebration includes honored guests Kiki Smith, Seton Smith, and Robert Storr, Dean of Yale School of Art. Small Town, Big Sculpture becomes the slogan for awareness and fundraising.


    Seton Hall University and LPMAF present "Tony Smith: Sowing the Seeds of Space" a lecture by Robert Storr, Dean of Yale School of Art, critic, painter and curator of 1998 Smith retrospective at MoMA.


    Community dedication event includes Tau-inspired projects throughout the public schools: poetry, mathematics, and fine arts endeavors are displayed in the PGOSO.


    The Emmy-award winning PBS show, State of the Arts produces a 30-minute documentary on the significance of Tony Smith, recognizing South Orange and the project.


    2009-present Tau is highlighted in various community interactions, such as the Historic Society House Tour, school trips, poetry gatherings, and more.


    Tau is included on a two-town arts tour for Seton Hall University's parents weekend.

  • 2010 - 2012: Tau is included in South Orange/Maplewood Artist's Studio Tour that includes over 70 artists and art venues.

  • The Lennie Pierro Memorial Arts Foundation is awarded a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts through the Essex County Division of Cultural Affairs. The purpose is to create a new website for outreach and education in promoting the life and work of Tony Smith, his influence and his connection to South Orange, Essex County and New Jersey at large.


    LPMAF and the Village of South Orange host "Art Party in the Park," a community celebration of Smith's centennial birthday. Local artists create, build, and exhibit works at the sculpture site.