Hillary K. Cotter, an arts consultant, said the two-day tour brought out huge crowds this year.
“Last year it rained,” she said.
This year’s event was well-organized, with information tables for visitors located near a number of transportation hubs where people collected maps and directions to the various galleries located throughout the city.
Sponsored by Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the Jersey City Municipal Council and the Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs, the event drew crowds to artist spaces located in every corner of the city, from Greenville in the south and the Heights in the north, as well as events in the traditional Power House Arts district and Downtown and areas near Journal Square and Lincoln Park.
The myriad of events include live art demonstrations and interactive exhibits, live music, art markets, panel discussions, dance performances, curated bus, bike and walking tours of indoor and outdoor art in every neighborhood (Jersey City boasts more than 100 public murals alone), and more.
“We’ve done photographic local images, but not this before.” – Henry Greenfield
Some of the more curious exhibits included work by Susana Rico, “Women Bikers,” in which the artist said she hoped to expand perceptions of women’s roles.
In contrast to this was work by Brian Gustafson, and his collection of colored umbrellas, drawing people’s attention and curiosity.
Norm Kirby presented line drawings that seem to capture everyday life in very familiar locations in and around Jersey City. Eileen Ferara presented work in multi media.
Originally from Monticello, New Yorker Maurizio Zuluaga presented work he called “Elasticism,” using rubber bands as a material for creating art. This is a technique he developed decades ago when he still had a loft in Manhattan. A leather factory closed its door and he found a box of rubber bands.
“I wondered what I could do with them,” he said.
Out of this was born a style that takes art down to a molecular level, yet still pays tribute to icons such as rock singer Jim Morrison. He said he’s sold a number of works based on the tour.
Currently, a resident of Jersey City, Zuluaga said he moved from Manhattan after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
Geraldine Gaines said a number of people passed through her gallery space for the two-day tour. She has a number of works presented, from paintings using doilies to large wood carvings, something she said she started when attending New Jersey City University.
“I make one wood carving and one print from it,” she said.
Gabriel Pacheco’s shadowy figures, drawn from his recent experiences visiting South Africa, drew people into his studio out of curiosity.
After starting his career in commercial illustration, he soon took another path into more experimental art.
Although he has a vision of what his pieces portray, he lets viewers bring their own perceptions to his work.
Across town near Newark Avenue and Coles Street, the Gallerie Hudson featured a Hoboken artist Ricardo Ruig, who presented a number of silkscreen images of local scenes.
Henry Greenfield, gallery designer, said they wanted to feature an artist that was doing local scenes in fine art.
“We’ve done photographic local images, but not this before,” he said.
The gallery has already sold a number of his works.
Unlike other exhibits for the tour, Ruig’s work will remain on display at the gallery until Nov. 12.
For some artists, the tour was an opportunity to create on the street, while others like Mary & Friends performed jazz in the street.
“We’re trying to liven up the place,” said John Frohling, a local attorney and art fan.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.