In its 21st year, the Jersey City Artist Studio Tour – taking place on Oct. 1 and 2 from noon to 6 p.m. each day – offers visitors and residents a solid immersion in the rich, vibrant artist community that fuels the city’s cultural scene.
Over two days, visitors can check out music, film, digital arts, photography, painting, sculpture, dance, poetry, and many other art forms.
Individuals can get an inside look at an artist’s studio and see their creative process at work, take in a film at Powerhouse Short Film Festival, or see a perspective of work at a gallery like Curious Matter.
Artists front and center
“We have the largest concentration of professional artists in the state of New Jersey,” said Greg Brickey of the city’s Cultural Affairs Division.
The studio tour has over 500 participating artists at more than 100 venues.
A pullout section with a map of the tour locations is available in the center of this newspaper.
Six months of planning…
Brickey organizes the city’s involvement in the studio tour from processing artist applications to finding community space for artists that don’t have venues, to organizing curated shows. Planning for the effort begins six months in advance and requires the support of the entire Cultural Affairs Division staff plus volunteers.
“It is definitely the biggest cultural event of the year,” said Brickey.
This year the city is throwing the kickoff celebration on Friday night, Sept. 30, at Mana Contemporary, 888 Newark Ave., from 6 to 10 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Brickey, an artist himself, said Pro Arts Jersey City, an organization he previously served as president, has been involved since the tour’s fourth year. The group is holding the closing party on Sunday, Oct. 2 with a reception at 6 p.m. and a party from 7 to 9 p.m. at Parlay Studios.
Mix it up on the tour
“It is much more intimate to go to the studios than just going to the big exhibitions,” said Brickey. “You can get a direct view on how [artists] put their work together and how they present their work.”
On the must-see list for large exhibitions, Mana Contemporary, a new gallery, features open studios, curated exhibitions by Jim Pustorino (Victory Arts Projects), and Michelle Mumoli (Pop Up Art), as well as Mana’s major in-house show “Our Own Directions: 40 Years of Photorealism.”
Also open for the 2011 Studio Tour is the Mana Contemporary Annex, located at 227 Coles St., presenting curator Tina Maneca’s Exquisite Corpse exhibition – which features collaborative art created by more than 70 Jersey City artists.
“We have a lot of fresh energy here now,” said Brickey. “I don’t think anyone can say that Jersey City is losing art establishments.”
The tour is presented by the City of Jersey City division of Cultural Affairs and the arts organization Pro Arts, and is sponsored by entities that include The Hudson Reporter newspaper group.
Free studio tour bus service will shuttle visitors to and from major tour sites. Provided by Pro Arts, a shuttle service bus with tour guides will be available to select venues. Easily accessible, most tour venues are within walking distance of the NY/NJ PATH, the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, or jitney bus services.
A free wheelchair-accessible guided tour is also available to select wheelchair accessible venues over the tour weekend provided by Hudson County Transcend. All persons wishing to take this guided tour must make advanced reservations by Sept. 30, as seats are limited. For details and to reserve a space, please call 201-736-7057.
For transportation schedules and more information, please call the Division of Cultural Affairs at (201) 547-6921 or visit us online at jerseycitynj.gov or proartsjerseycity.org.
The Jersey City Reporter will include a pullout section the weekend of the tour, with more details.
Some additional highlights of the tour:
1st Annual Jersey City Powerhouse Short Film Festival, running Sept. 30 to Oct 2, in tents at First and Provost and Bay and Provost streets. Tickets are $15 general admission and can be purchased at www.jcpowerhousefilmfest.com or at the site beginning one hour before each program.
Parlay Studios, at 161 2nd St., will host the group exhibition from tour sponsor Pro Arts with 27 artists listed as exhibitors.
Curious Matter Gallery, 272 Fifth St. presents “Dividing Light Measuring Darkness,” which explores our diverse human responses to benign physical properties of light and darkness.
City Hall, 280 Grove St., hosts a group exhibit of about a dozen artists. In the same venue, on the ground floor, visit Jersey City’s version of “The City Love Project.” And in the Caucus Room is “Summer Away, Part One,” a group exhibition from the Jersey City Arts High School program.
“The Pipe,” a film sponsored by the No Gas Pipeline coalition on view at the City Council Chambers. A short film depicting the struggle of a small Irish village to resist Shell Oil’s attempt to lay a gas pipeline through their community.
Liberty Science Center, hosting a community exhibition that features Jersey City artists Bojana Coklyat, Stephanie Riggi, Vanessa Holly and more.