Walk-Bye and Congregation B’nai Jacob showcase Jersey City artists to honor Jewish holiday

Catalina Aranguren, founder of Walk-Bye by Argia Photography, brings her latest community art installation to life in partnership with Rabbi Bronwen Mullin of Congregation B’nai Jacob in Jersey City. The exhibition titled “Group Show – /ˈradək(ə)l/ – roots, body & fruit” will showcase original work by local artists with an unveiling at the synagogue at 4PM on January 28.

The show is inspired by the Jewish holiday Tu b’Shevat – translated literally as “New Year for the trees”. It is celebrated in contemporary Israel, as an ecological awareness day, and trees are planted in celebration. Walk-Bye held open submissions for artwork starting mid December, calling on local artists of all ages, religions, and sexes, to explore the duality of how a festival of trees, growth and prosperity happens in the winter within the context of personal, spiritual, and intellectual growth.

“The show’s title comes from the part of a plant embryo that develops into the primary root,” said Aranguren. “I wanted the show to include more than just representations of trees, so ‘radicle’ seemed like the perfect choice. I also liked the play on the sound similarity to ‘radical’ given everything that’s happened in the world in the past year.”

- Advertisement -

“The past year has been a period of great upheaval with the pandemic and social unrest across the country. I wanted to raise awareness of Tu b’Shevat as we head into a brand new year,” said Rabbi Mullin. “Our synagogue has always sought to create not only space for religion, but also for arts and activism. People need art more than ever now, so I saw this as a unique opportunity to partner with an active local arts organization like Walk-Bye.”

This show marks the first time that Walk-Bye will provide financial compensation to the chosen artists thanks to the generosity of the show’s financial benefactors. Lead sponsor Fields Grade, Leeann and Leemark, Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey and Minuteman Jersey City are underwriting the cost of production.

The show is the fourth installation in Aranguren’s series of outdoor community art exhibits and the first one in 2021. Walk-Bye has sought to create opportunities for Jersey City Residents to display and view local artwork in a safe manner during the Covid-19 pandemic. Past exhibits include outdoor shows in June and October of last year held in various Jersey City parks followed by a December photo display to commemorate Human Rights Day and International Human Solidarity Day with Welcome Home, a local refugee support organization.

For more information on the exhibit and artists, please follow @Walk_Bye on Instagram.

About Walk-Bye

WALK-BYE, founded in 2020 by Catalina Aranguren, is a collective outdoor art exhibition of original work, visible to the public from a distance. The installation strives to bring artists and community members together to create a sense of connectivity during the current pandemic.

About Congregation B’nai Jacob

Congregation B’nai Jacob is a contemporary egalitarian synagogue and Jersey City dedicated to supporting the Jewish community in Hudson County. We strive to foster meaningful spiritual experiences and a sense of Jewish connection by providing a welcoming environment and opportunities for growth and learning. We dedicate ourselves to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation and interfaith family structure. We also have a long-standing tradition of being at the forefront of social change, supporting the struggle for civil and human rights for all.