One word. Woah. What a weekend!! A few days ago as I was planning my itinerary, I knew there was no chance I was going to be able to hit up over 100 spots in 2 days, as well as work on my posts for LGBT pride week… oh and also handle my wifey/mommy duties. Panic attack much? I put a post on Facebook asking for volunteers and 4 lovely people reached out and we divided and conquered! Meet he JC Art & Studio Tour Street Team:
Disclaimer: This post is EPIC!! So if you don’t have the patience to read through it all it’s all good, just skim through, browse to the exhibits you might of missed or want to relive or just go straight to the bottom for the gallery. First up is yours truly.
Chicpea’s 1rst Art Tour
I focused primarily on the Downtown area, as much as I wanted to venture out to other areas this allowed me to also tend to my family. There are a few things that I am super bummed that I missed though; At around 3pm I found myself with a dead iPhone, dead camera battery so had to go home. Which means I had to miss live body painting by Bob Piersanti at his studio. #epicfail. I also missed the big party at 660 Studios which I hear was awesome!!
Panepinto Galleries: Lucid Visions
The weekend actually started on Thursday at Panepinto Galleries opening show “Lucid Visions”. Kyra and I hit this shindig up with my little artist Mia! So many great pieces, it was hard to choose which I would put in this post!
Mary Benson Gallery: Original Fifty8 Reunion show
Friday night from 6-7pm I attended the JCITFF red carpet event, right after I made a beeline to the Mary Benson gallery to check out this highly anticipated reunion show. I am still new to the Jersey City art scene but there is one thing I know is that the artists featured in this show are pioneers in the JC art game. Two of which I got the honor to interview; Robert Piersanti and Dylan Egon… Ian Kuali’i you are next buddy!
JCAST Kick Off Party
Right after the reunion show we went to check out the JCAST kick off party, checked out John Fathom’s and John T Ruddy’s awesome burning man style windmill, had some sangrias from the Hamilton Inn people, listened to live bands and socialized with some JC friends. Special shout out to Luca who worked her little butt off to pull this amazing weekend together. #girlboss.
Marco & Pepe: Dylan Egon
First stop Saturday we hit up Marco & Pepe’s to see Dylan Egon’s installment. Ever since my post about Dylan, I’ve been slightly obsessed with his work and was really excited to see all of his stuff again! Mia came along and had a good time checking out all of Dylan’s cool toys, she also photobombed his picture!
C’est L’Amour Studios
Well hello there Chantal ;) What a Gorgeous chick and some great art work from diverse local talents such as Joe Velez and Taty Lopez!
This was my first time visiting this place and definitely not the last! I smell a future blog post…
Cultural Sounds of the City
I walked by a few times to check out the various performances, stylish peeps and food vendors. I was especially excited to see DJ Mega Mission doing his thing! He played some of my favorite MJ beats, it was very hard for me to keep myself from pulling out my cardboard box and doing a b-girl bit.
Modern Sage Ribbon Cutting
Not sure this was part of the Art Tour, but on my way up Newark Ave I caught the Modern Sage ribbon cutting! Right as I walked by they had David Wright singing “Dreamweaver” with Mayor Fulop! so cool!
Village West Gallery: The Whiskey Rebellion
This exhibit was on my “Must See” list… art+booze= winning. I walked in and the first thing I see was a piece by Whiskey king John Fathom. I also loved all the other whiskey inspired art work, and the space itself was awesome to check out. Highly recommend this one!
Right after the whiskey rebellion I hit up Merseles Studios that was having many different exhibits. My first stop was Frank Ippolito’s studio. Frank is a science illustrator who just retired from the Natural History Museum in New York after 30 years. “This space became available so I stepped into it, painting and drawing from a model is what I’ve always wanted to do and one of my passions…so when I got this space I thought, what have I always wanted out of a model space… really good lighting, a modular set up where the models can grab on to things and show me muscles…” Are these nude models? Usually, sometimes costumes. But often it’s figurative!
Jersey City Art School: “Figures From Life”
This was my first visit to the JCAS, there to greet me was Zappa Costa who showed me beautiful drawings from teachers and students of various nude models. Beautiful work!
Alley Cat Gallery: Beth Achenbach & The Silver Sculptor
This was also on my must list! I recently interviewed Beth and her partner Cat for a post (coming soon!) and was so excited to see her photographs displayed.
Curious Matter Gallery: OBSOLESCENCE
No photography allowed! dope work nonetheless! And these curators are so stylish right?!
Juan “Cheese” Vasquez
While I was listening to a band play at the Cultural Sounds of the City, someone approached me and told me to go check out Cheese’s store on Brunswick. I don’t want to give too much away but I am definitely going to interview this guy! He sells a bunch of awesome shirts that he prints, he also let me go into his back room where he has some very cool art work displayed. Can’t wait to hear his story!
150 Bay Street
# 918 David Wasicky/ BLVCK + White
First stop was the 9th floor to check out my old neighbors new t-shirt line BLVCK + White. Wearable art! Great stuff!
#825 Barbara Sinclair
MUSIC!! @150 BAY
We stopped by here twice because Mia is a little rockstar and kept making us go back so she can dance in the front row! There was live Broadway music and some good old rock n roll by Eliza Neals. So fun!
I ran into legendary Jersey City photographer Mickey Mathis and was honored to take his picture in front of some dope artwork!
#716 NR Recording Studios
Imagine living in an apartment with a recording studio? coolest place ever!! Mia even joined in for a jam session, I tell ya this kid is going to be a rockstar.
The Warehouse Cafe
Happy Birthday Warehouse Cafe! This weekend was their 5 year anniversary and in celebration they are showcasing the art work of some awesome locals and fellow barista’s. We came in to check out the work and the place was bustling with people drinking coffee and working! What are you guys doing?! There’s so much going on in JC, get out there!!
29 McWilliams Place: Brooke Hansson & Dennis Whittinghill
My first stop on Sunday was to check out this awesome community exhibition and of course to say hi to my JC friends Brook and Damaged Wear Boss man Dennis! Great work you guys!
Nap time. We went home to put Mia to sleep, I was going to go back out but my bed was calling my name… and that was the end of it. Then around 8pm I got up and went to the JCAST closing party! Apparently I missed the good part… oh well.
Kyra’s Art Tour
Kyra Konfession’ Everything I’ve attended here in JC with CHICPEA, have all been firsts for me, from Street Fairs/Markets/Art Galleries to parties/restaurants/stores. For someone who’s been here for 6 years, that’s pretty shocking. I’ve loved every minute of getting to know my fellow Jersey Cit-ians.
Entering the JC Artists Tour, I didn’t really know what to expect… and then I fell in love. What’s more fun than exploring your towns streets, full of galleries & talented people!?
I only got to a few places but all of them were wonderful & full of inspiration.
I’m almost positive my favorite thing I saw while exploring was the Ruler White Walker at LITM (GoT fan obvi) however it was so amazing seeing Comic Chaos @ Studio 365, the young artists rocked it & ALL OF THEM UNDER 15!!!! I was amazed & in awe of their talent! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for these JC youngins!
Hudson County Art Supply: Peter Bill
Studio 365: Comic Chaos
269 8th Street: Frere Factory
9th & Coles: Kayt Hester & Tiffy DiGiacomo
LITM: Ruler Solo Exhibition
54 Coles Street: Piersanti’s POPulation
Barluca: Community Exhibition: “Book Arts & Literary Wonders”
Nerissa’s Art Tour
The Heights : The Distillery Gallery
Upon arrival he Heights Distillery Gallery was hustling and bustling with the sound of city kids. The gallery holds Saturday morning art classes, which supports teaching and creating art through observation. Teacher Kristin J. Deangelis had the kids sit in front of the pieces. The class had just finished painting watercolor “reaction” pieces to the work the was hung in the gallery. The walls danced with the keen art of Jerry Khan.
“Can You Spare SomeChange”, a solo show created by Jerry, was a brilliant and fanciful exhibit, that touched on the subject of Religion, Finance, and Self Discovery. Jerry’s created the first piece in 2007, and told me modestly, that the works had been “collecting dust” in his studio for the last couple of years.
Inspired by Brasilian street artists, the work really shines. With subject matters including a modern day Goliath, Olive Trees, Black Balloons, and painted black Beer Bottles, the show paints a picture of both pattern and iconography. “I like patterns, I think they make things pop”- Jerry Khan, stated after explaining how one piece took a year before it could fully form due to the intricacy of the dot pattern in the background. Jerry, wearing all denim and a 5 o’clock shadow concludes the show as being a product of a 2 year religious self discovery. Gallery owner, Gabriel Pacheco states that the gallery is a marriage of art and community, through the distillery that us to call home to this brick laid location.
The heights: 500 Palisade/C
“Don’t Play with Fire”, kindles as well as nurtures, in this grass roots brick load location right on Palisade Ave. The work gives you a sense of the community and is both intrinsic and playful, as one of the pieces includes a “My Little Pony” having a stand off with a lighter.
Jim Legge, one of the featured artists was welcoming as he brought me over to his large scale 35mm photography. He boasted, “None of this is photoshopped”. After offering me an apple, and me making a bad joke about being Snow White, he proceeded to show my every picture in his photo journal, letting me know that post card sized prints were only $1. Not a bad price for someone with his acute visual lens for nature. Jim goes on frequent nature hikes, and takes wonderful photos in third person perspective, some of ice and the reflections that can be seen in them. The work creates an abstract feel, with shape and the use of light, and is anecdotal at the same time.
Santiago Cohen Studio
Mexican artist Santiago Cohen illustrated his entire life story with oil on canvas. The paintings adorn his garage space studio. Large white paper-machete creatures scattered through out the room are pieces Santiago is working on for the Jersey City Day of the Dead parade.
Whilst looking at all the fanciful odds and ends in his studio, I found a figurine of Jack (Tim Burtons iconic character), alongside a Mexican sugar skull figurine. The correlation was made, Santiago is an animator as well. Once I was able to get a word in with him, I became delighted by this artist.
“I love the energy of the people…[Here in the Heights]. I moved here a few months ago, after the Hurricane Sandy ruined my space in Hoboken.” Santiago said as he showed me the children’s books he has illustrated. Inspired by folklore from Mexico, comics, and graphic novels Santiago’s work has a naivety to it. It is simplistic, and doesn’t try too hard, but it boasts a warm and wonderfully rich color palette.
Gales Sasson Studio
Bard + RISD Alumni, Gale Sasson has a modest studio space in the heart of the Heights. Her exhibit featured a slew of personal work, strung from the walls like paper dolls. The works seamed to be hand-made paper studies, and as I looked closer at the daring subject matter, I noticed that doll clothing was actually embedded into the work. Something I have never seen before.
Gale is a school teacher, and teaches high school Photo 1, 2, 3, and AP. Her process is intense and her works is composed of several layers, all experimental work for Gale. She loves capturing the shapes of endangered animals, and then creating playful work by “dressing them-up” with doll clothing. My favorite piece on her wall, featured stilettos, and Gale beamed when i told her, as she ran up the stairs to print the poem that she wrote which accompanied the piece. Gales’ colorful character and blue hair made her a favorite of the day. =)
107 Bowers St, Shakti Boutique
I visited this quaint, cozy, and nostalgic boutique in the late afternoon, just as I was starting to feel tired from my journey. The aroma of this shop was intoxicating and smelt similar to a chai tea latte. As I found an embroidered chair to rest my tush, I started taking note of all of the the wonderful goods both inside and outside of the shoppe.
For the Studio Tour, Shakti featured paintings by local artist Nathan Jalani Taylor. The pieces seamed right at home with the rest of the products and added an ethereal touch. After watching a girl try on purple seude boots, I began lusting over a certain head band… as I started debating whether the purchase would be wise or not, I came to and realized I had to keep on moving. I snapped a quick picture of a silver Hindu goddess antique, and went on my way. I will definitely be making another visit to this inviting boutique in the days soon to come.
Surati: The word Surati means Su- Melody, Rati – Infinite
Joel’s Art Tour
CAST Kickoff Party: J. Owen Grundy Park
ast year I had a lot of fun visiting Feldman glass on Halladay St, so I knew I had to hit them up again this year. Larry Feldman has been doing glass work for years and his workshop is filled with all sorts of vividly colored stained glass. He shares the space with wood workers Zack and Vee of the Waited Collective, so this stop was a 2 for 1 deal. I was really impressed with all the furniture they made, I’m hoping to get a living room table out of this post…
ANYWHO, upstairs was Zack’s mom aka Thrifted Sister. She was a sweetheart with lots of fancy vintage lady clothes that my friend Sara was going ape shit over. All in all, a great group of people.
After concluding the Lafayette leg of the tour, I headed downtown to meet some friends at my buddy Matt Colagiuri’s gallery. Matt runs Blue Door Studios on 6th St and does amazing sculptural photography. His event was catered by Livestock JC (that pork belly though…) and also housed several other artists/artisans. Craig Mahoney of the Heights had some great movie inspired paintings hanging and Hazel Richards showcased some of her beautifully hand crafted jewelry. The final treat here was singer/songwriter John Mannion, who serenaded us with a few Jersey inspired tunes.
We left there nice and buzzed and lucky for us the wine kept flowing at our next stop, JC Arts School. There we hung out with Joe, an inspiring 60-year old art student there, who had some great water color paintings up on the wall. He also treated us to a delicious spread of sausage bread, spinach bread, and crumb cake from Elio’s bakery on Westside Ave that brought me straight back to my childhood! Awesome guy, good times, we hung out here for way too long.
After a booze and food fueled break, we made our way over to 660 Grand for the after party No matter how many times I’ve been here, I’m still amazed by how sick this space is. The decor is incredible, there’s no place like it in the city. They had a lot of great acts playing that night, but I especially loved the ska/reggae stylings of Cecilia Celeste. Also, 660 is walking distance to Crown Fried Chicken so we had to hit that up. Between that and the whiskey, I woke up hating myself :(.
Marelyn’s Art Tour
660 Studios Party
One more from Mark :)
Bravo, Ms. McKenna!
Raven Gallery. A well-curated, great little gallery on Newark Ave a few steps just out of the mouth of the madness… Representing a myriad of talented artists whose mediums ranged from scratchboard to sculpture, acrylic on canvas to custom furniture.
We were warmly welcomed and promptly introduced to a number of pieces in the back room. From chests of drawers to faces & figures of females, somewhat ghostly, yet not scary, this talented artist/curator/gallery director has it down…A must-visit spot; three words: Go. Go. Go.
DeCarlos and Mark Finne
Fine Art Reception at DeCarlos was my destination this past Sunday afternoon for Jersey City Artist Tour. What a hidden gem, gentlemen! Singer machines, walls of thread, examples of the high quality work on mannequins, and the great set-up of the venue provided me with a sense of nostalgia of my sewing days.
Till Next Year! Thanks to the Street team for pulling it all together.