Any Jersey City culture buff who plans to be out of town the second weekend in October picked the wrong time to go away. Hint: Cancel those travel plans, if possible, because on Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14 Jersey City will play host to a dizzying array of art gallery shows, parties, music performances, and performance art during the 22nd Annual Artists’ Studio Tour.
As if that weren’t enough, this year the tour takes place at the tail end of the four-day Golden Door International Film Festival.
Hosted and organized by the Jersey City Division of Cultural Affairs and the nonprofit organization Pro Arts, the annual Artists’ Studio Tour is a free two-day self-guided walking tour of galleries, exhibitions, artists’ studios, and art in public spaces. The Hudson Reporter is a tour co-sponsor.
Each year the tour, which has grown in recent years, showcases the work of professional artists who live and create in Jersey City, but whose art may be unfamiliar to the larger community. While many sites along the tour route are located downtown organizers said there will be several dynamic group shows in the Jersey City Heights, Greenville, and Bergen-Lafayette communities as well.
The 2012 Artists’ Studio Tour will include more than 75 venues exhibiting the work of roughly 400 professional artists.
In keeping with tour tradition, there will be a free opening night kick-off celebration on Friday, Oct. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. This year, the kick-off party will be held at the Tenmarc Building, at 430 Communipaw Ave., a Bergen-Lafayette site that will also host several significant group shows during tour weekend.
“There are a number of large group shows that are happening that are bringing together artists studios under one roof,” said Pro Arts Executive Director Sean Hollingsworth. “This is important on several levels. It’s a reconnecting of the artists’ community that has, over the last decade or so, lost some of its cohesion.”
Hollingsworth said there will be about 20 artists groups and arts organizations that will exhibit group shows at the Tenmarc Building during the tour weekend. The Tenmarc space will also have an “interactive children’s area,” Hollingsworth said, which “will make the arts accessible to families.”
“Vertical Repose,” another notable group show, will be exhibited at the Panepinto Galleries. “Vertical Repose” will include works by Andrea Belag, Rachel Friedberg, Kate Carey, Charlie Hewitt, Alison Hildreth, John D’Agostino, Stephen Gross, David Wolf, John Baldessari, Keith Sonnier, Elizabeth T. Jones, Chris Pelletiere, and Anthony Rosselli.
“[Pro Arts Board President] Kay Kenny wanted to create an arts center atmosphere for the tour that had a little taste of arts around the city,” Kelleher stated.
And this is just the tip of the paint brush. There’s plenty more to the tour than these group shows, including. The full tour schedule will be published in the October 7 edition of the Jersey City Reporter and will be available throughout the weekend of the tour.
All of the gallery shows included in the Artists’ Studio Tour are free and open to the public.
Can this get any better? Yes.
In another first, this year’s event will close out with what Kelleher called a “tour crawl” of restaurants along lower Newark Avenue. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14, four restaurants – LITM, Barcade, Porto Lounge, and Made with Love – will have “tour specials” on their menus.
As the tour gets bigger, gallery hopping around the city gets more challenging. So, Pro Arts and the city will offer free shuttle bus service from the Grove Street PATH Station to various destinations and stops along the tour route. Three shuttles will be available during tour hours of noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Shuttle service will also be offered to the Tenmarc Building for the opening night party.
Although shuttle service has been offered occasionally in the past, Hollingsworth said it has been “underutilized,” largely because it wasn’t well advertised.
This year’s Artists’ Studio Tour will coincide with the second annual Golden Door International Film Festival, which will begin on Thursday, Oct. 11 and run through Sunday, Oct. 14. The festival will start Thursday night and continue all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It concludes with an awards ceremony Sunday night.
“It’s going to be a very busy weekend for us,” Kelleher acknowledged. “Jersey City is an amazing place that’s exploding with events. It’s not uncommon for us to have a bunch of events happening simultaneously. [Film festival founder] Bill Sorvino agreed to move some of his films so they’ll begin later in the day. That was one recommendation we made so that not everything is taking place at the exact same time.”
For more information on the Golden Door International Film Festival, which is co-sponsored by the Hudson Reporter, visit http://goldendoorfilmfestival.org. The full film schedule will be published in the Jersey City Reporter on October 7.
In addition to the Golden Door International Film Festival, the folks from Fourth Street Arts will offer up their annual Art and Music Festival on Saturday, Oct. 13. For the past eight years Fourth Street Arts has hosted a craft and music show that always takes place on the Saturday of the Studio Tour. The tradition, which founder Mike McNamara calls a day of “art, music, and community,” returns this October for its ninth year.
For more information on the free Art and Music Festival, which will take place on Fourth Street, between Newark Avenue and Merseles Street, visit www.4thstreetarts.com.
“It’s our hope that all these events feed into each other,” Kelleher said.
E-mail E. Assata Wright at email@example.com.