Greenville Art Walk returns

Monthly Series Revitalizes Jersey City Neighborhood

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Greenville Art Walk returns
For the Greenville Art Walk, an empty storefront at 307 Martin Luther King Drive, managed by Brick Street Realty, was transformed into a pop-up art gallery. (Photo by Bang Chau)

Greenville Art Walk returns in February with an increased number of venues, events and reasons to make a monthly visit to one of New Jersey’s oldest urban neighborhoods.

Held the first Sunday of each month, the Greenville Art Walk features art exhibitions and other events in venues throughout the Martin Luther King Drive corridor and surrounding vicinity. The Art Walk is a family friendly art experience for all ages as well as an opportunity to explore this historic and vibrant section of Jersey City.

The ongoing project is part of the Stories of Greenville, an arts program produced and presented by Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC).

The first arts project to be part of the “I Love Greenville Community Plan,” a neighborhood improvement initiative created by the Greenville Community Partnership (GCP) and funded by the statewide Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) Program, Stories of Greenville is a multidisciplinary arts project designed to bring exposure to Greenville artists, including visual artists, filmmakers, writers, poets, musicians, dancers and performers.

The Greenville Art Walk showcases these Greenville artists and Jersey City creatives and their neighborhood, but does so on a regular and consistent basis. This free program uses a growing coalition of artists, local businesses and residents to shine a well-deserved spotlight on this unique art destination in the Jersey City cultural landscape.

“Art connects communities,” said Olga Levina, artistic director, JCTC. “Stories of Greenville is about sharing our stories, giving people the opportunity to express themselves. When art is visible, accessible and relevant to everyday lives, it benefits everyone in a city. With the Greenville Art Walk, we want everyone to come out and enjoy art in all its possibilities and make the experience a monthly habit.”

After months of development by JCTC with Greenville artists, community leaders & businesses and other I Love Greenville Community Plan participants, the Greenville Art Walk took its first step in early January. The response was very positive, with hundreds of residents turning out for the inaugural event.

“We started developing the idea of having artwork, artists and creative activities on a regular basis months ago,” said Atim Annette Oton, curator for the Greenville Art Walk. “We expected a small audience since we only had a few spaces participating for the first Art Walk and were surprised when nearly 200 people showed up. Art can build up communities in many ways and when a community needs healing, art plays a very important part in that healing process.”

Oton is a Nigerian-born, American and British educated designer turned curator. In addition to curating Art Walk and other JCTC events, including the upcoming gallery show for JCTC’s Destiney series opening Feb. 7, this Jersey City resident is the director of Calabar Gallery in Harlem and founder of the Creative Side, an arts and design consultancy.

Greenville Art Walk features art exhibitions in new and existing businesses as well as popup galleries in fallow spaces and empty storefronts. As the monthly series unfolds, the art shows and workshops will be augmented by music; spoken-word and poetry readings; film screenings; paint and sip (in both adult and kids versions) gatherings; craft circles – including sewing and knitting; as well as job training and recruitment events.

“It was truly a joy to see people come together, going to different places and experiencing the art,” said Oton. “One store owner said this is the most people I have had in a long time, and several of the Art Walkers said they had never been inside of some of the locations ever before. Many businesses on Martin Luther King Drive and Ocean Avenue have given me cards and contacted JCTC asking how they can be involved. The first Art Walk was a tremendous success and the roster of participants keeps growing.”

The details

All Greenville Art Walk events are free, open to the public, and family-friendly. For more information, visit: www.JCTCenter.org

Greenville Art Walk
Feb.2, 1 – 5 p.m.

CHERRY’S LOUNGE,
102 Martin Luther King Drive,
Art Exhibition: D.Tunia;
National Career Institute will be recruiting for its Construction Training classes.

MARTHA’S BOUTIQUE,
207A Martin Luther King Drive.
Group Show/Greenville Artists

MYRTLE MARANATHA MARKET,
213 Martin Luther King Drive.
Art Exhibition:Janhavi Firke

BRICK STREET REALTY,
307 Martin Luther King Drive.
Greenville Artists/Group Show
Video Screening: It’s Yourz by Ibn Sharif Shakor & I’liyah Shakoor ( Shakoor Kids)
Children’s Art Activities

QUA’S CREATIVE ART CENTER,
520 Ocean Avenue.
Artist Lorenzo Pickett
Children’s Art Activities

BRICK STREET REALTY,
520 Ocean Avenue.
Group Show/Greenville Artists

HAROLD LEMMERMAN GALLERY at NJCU, 2039 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
The exhibition, Neighbors Far and Near: Ibou Ndoye, will be on view in the Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery on Feb. 2, 2 to 5 p.m. Artist talk, 2:30 p.m. Painting workshop, 3 – 4 p.m.

 

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