I moved out of Manhattan and into Jersey City two years ago, but in the first year, I only slept here. Since most of my friends live in New York, my social life was there, so I essentially treated Jersey City like a bedroom community.
This year, despite spending lots of time between Fair Lawn and Clifton, visiting my dad in the nursing home and my mom at her home, I decided to make an effort getting to know Jersey City a little better. At first, that meant actually hanging out at my neighborhood bar, something I rarely did when I lived in Washington Heights. (I was always downtown, which was silly.)
Then #JCTwitterDrinks happened (thanks to local artist and instructor at School of Visual Arts, Amy Wilson) and I met a community of cool people! And by following them on Twitter, I learned about The Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (#JCAST)– a citywide showcase of the arts, featuring nearly 1,000 participating artists in hundreds of venues that include private studios, galleries, local businesses, and pop-up and public spaces.
At the last minute, I decided to go for the bike tour (with the super cool folks from BikeJC) on late Saturday (Oct. 3) afternoon. Unfortunately, rain from Hurricane/Storm Joaquin marred those plans, but I decided to venture out on my own (on foot, thanks to all the bike parking in the Grove Street area) and see some art. Here’s a bit of what I saw:
The artist of this piece, BeelZan, is from Israel, and he is also a psychologist, who owns a counseling center for families, couples, children, and adolescents. It’s called Footprint. His show was hosted at Indiegrove, a super cool co-working space in the Grove Street area. If I was a freelancer, I’d rent space there.
I then headed over to LITM (great bar, btw) and caught “Thaw,” by artist Beth Achenbach. She explained the concept came to her when she watched frozen cherries thawing out. Pretty cool stuff.
While on the tour, I kept bumping into the awesome street art murals that are popping up all over the city.
I met these two cutie pies at 150 Bay Street, an awesome work/live loft building, which is many artists call home.
Sadly I lost the above artist’s business card, but she had a very cool apartment, served great sangria, and is a professional lighting designer, so all of her art deals with light. Also, she’s a Las Vegas native. Wish I remembered her name!
Stacy Lund Levy’s art celebrated women’s bodies.
Loved this stuff by New Jersey native, artist Piersanti.
I also met Ashley Pickett, a photographer who showcased some very cool photos she took in New York and Paris (sadly, I deleted the photos by mistake!), and also her late father’s art. Her dad, Paul Jansen, designed album covers for artists such as Jimi Hendrix!
I ended the night (far too late, of course!) by hitting JCAST after party at the super cool 660 Studios, where I met J Hacha de Zola (a musician) and saw Sunnyside Social Club perform. I also drank too much jaeger, but that’s another blog post! ;)
Skateboard decks line a wall at 660 Studios.
The fun didn’t stop there. On Sunday, I popped over to a space in Journal Square to see Amy Wilson’s fiber work!
JCAST is actually celebrating 25 years this month, and the celebration continues through October for Jersey City Art Month.