The Jersey City Artists’ Studio Tour Returns; don’t mind the gap

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For the first time in over a year, the Jersey City Art Studio Tour returns Thursday. The pandemic isn’t quite over, but between hopes that vaccinations and adherence to safety measures will suffice, dozens of doors to artistic offerings in the city are open to visitors. If you look at the JCAST map, however, there are noticeably fewer offers south of McGinley Square, towards Bayonne.

The galleries at New Jersey City University, 2039 Kennedy Blvd., and the Bethune Center, 140 Martin Luther King Dr., will feature works by great artists in their halls that can easily be overlooked – much like the Jackson Hill Pop-Up , which offers the only JCAST offer in Bergen-Lafayette.

There, at the Small Business Incubator across from the City Hall Annex, works by Angela Huggins will be on display from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Jackson-Hill Pop-Up at 351 Martin Luther. King Dr., featuring Huggins’ various homemade dolls. Huggins dolls are clearly multicultural, made by someone who teaches doll making as an approach to healing and as a way for collectors to add to their own. In the African American community, doll making has a deep history – with the need to literally form and make positive representations in a society that offered very little. (Read more about Huggins’ work at www.angelhugs4all.com)

One of the unique elements of a studio art tour is that people make their homes and non-traditional places available to the public, and just south of Bergen Lafayette there are three offerings like that .

Nonprofit NJ Temple Arya Samaj will feature artist Alpana Mittal’s one-of-a-kind perler bead work billed under her artist name Tejaswini, at 191 Woodlawn Ave., Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., not far from Bethune Center.

This temple is in the mold of a reformist branch of Hinduism that values ​​merit rather than valor depending on the caste one is born into. Every Sunday they hold a prayer session called havan.

Tejaswini, who is co-chair of the Pro Arts Jersey City membership committee, said the temple, where her husband also volunteers as a priest, has been a big supporter of her work – which is also on display at 150 Bay Street ( suite 265, with other Pro Arts artists) and in international venues.

The kind of intricate beadwork on canvas that Tejaswini will show is reminiscent of pixel art. It’s a style that uses the simplicity of scaled-down graphics for highly evocative renderings of images, in part because of the extensive work that goes into it. Tejaswini’s work like this was partially inspired by a bead kit she gave her daughter for Christmas, but she’s also familiar with pixel art.

“I actually learned about it by watching my kids’ games and realized that my job was to place each pixel individually in your hands and create an image or art,” Tejaswini said earlier this week. “I believe that this art gives us a very wide field to think and create. It’s a slow process, we see the images grow slowly but in the process there is a lot of fun watching the image take shape. Creating geometric patterns is another fun process. There are geometric shapes everywhere, or my mind sees them everywhere.

Tejaswini is no longer a resident of Jersey City, but she still feels like a part of its art scene.

Her time with Pro Arts Jersey City helped her grow as an artist due to the proximity of the wonderful artists around her from the city.

“It actually contributes to my growth as an artist and to my creative process,” Tejaswini said. “It’s an incentive to do your best and to do your best in this community of artists.” Learn more about his work at tejaswiniart.com.

For several years, Greenville Project Coordinator Elizabeth Deegan has ensured that the group has a constant presence in the entrances to JCAST and JC Fridays. She continues to do so with “It’s a Family Affair”, at 128 Winfield Ave. The show features thoughts on the subject from artists such as Donchellee Fulwood and Jim Legge; and the works of “family artists”, such as Aaron and Raylie Dunkel, the Sienkiewicz family and Christine Dzierzynski (with Jason Dzierzynski),

This year, just blocks from the Greenville project, Danielle and Moises Haskins will return for their second studio art tour at their home on Pearsall Avenue (206 Pearsall Ave., to be exact) with “Lights and Pedals II @ Moisessions “, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Their entry, curated by Danielle, is unique – an experimental music jam part, as well as a similar approach to lighting design.

“This show is a product of Moisessions Studios, which is my project studio and production company,” Moises said earlier this week. “The nature of the show will be a five to six hour exploration of unpredictability through generative music (and) through self-oscillating guitar pedals, with a few of my musician friends – Tara Stafford Ocansey on vocals , saxophone and synthesizer; and Wyl White on vocals, guitar and fiddle.

Among the many influences that Moises and his friends have for this Moisessions Studios (@moisessions) session are the works of ambient music pioneer Brian Eno. Amon Tobin’s work also brought Moises into video mapping during his many years working as a lighting designer for a dance company.

“It’s very important for us to represent a part of the city that hasn’t had much representation in the past,” Danielle said. “Our last JCAST show of 2019 was held at our apartment in McGinley Square (near the West Side Avenue section), but we bought a house during the pandemic. We love the West Side Avenue neighborhood and still consider ourselves part of the vibrant and creative community there. But while we were looking for a place to call our forever home, the perfect home for us, within our price range, was on Pearsall Avenue in South Greenville. So here we are. In many ways, this neighborhood is the underdog of the city. But we are proud and want others to see the beauty and community we have experienced.

Danielle Haskins said she contacted Greenville Project after his family moved to the area.

“We love the Greenville project! ” she says. “They allowed my husband and other musicians he frequently collaborates with to perform in their gallery at one of their JC Fridays events. The crowd had such a warm and welcoming vibe. We hope this will help make this area a viable arts destination, due to the proximity of several destinations. We also hope it inspires other artists in the neighborhood to consider showing their work locally, rather than feeling pressured to go elsewhere. It’s close to the Danforth Avenue light rail station, several bus routes, and has a much better parking situation than most of the city, so it really isn’t no man’s land. it is often considered to be.

Deegan originally started Project Greenville as a meeting place for civic-minded people in the area.

Otherwise, she says, these people end up hiding in their homes as what has gone on for too long continues unabated.

Deegan, preparing for this weekend, noted that she wishes there were more sites participating in the Greenville/Bergen-Lafayette areas. She thinks it would happen more if people realized, or were made aware, that whatever business they have going on, they would get free promotion. Although Deegan thinks it’s hard to get people to appreciate art in her area when, aside from what she sees as spotty transport options on weekends, it’s so much easier and more reckless to do it elsewhere. At least on his side of town, the more points there are on the map, the more places there are for civic-minded citizens to congregate.

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