With Fall on the horizon, that can only mean one thing for Jersey City’s art scene: JC Fridays! While the showcase will have a virtual kickoff on Thursday, Sept. 9, JC Fridays will be live and in-person on Friday, Sept. 10. Jersey City’s quarterly arts festival will showcase a variety of happenings including visual art exhibitions, music and dance performances, art demonstrations, and studio tours from 35 participating artists, businesses, and organizations. This will also be the first in-person JC Fridays in more than a year.
“As we reconnect in-person, we are thrilled with the return of JC Fridays in-person,” says Art House Producing Director Courtney Little. “Jersey City is filled with diverse talent across all mediums and JC Fridays is the perfect time to enjoy and support the local arts and business community.”
The seasonal festival is always the right time for Jersey City’s visual and performing artists to share their newest projects and works. The day will feature art events in restaurants, galleries, stores, and event spaces in almost all of Jersey City’s neighborhoods. The events are free and open to all. On the night before the celebration, the Virtual Kickoff will feature live performances and previews of JC Fridays events at 7 p.m. Admission is free but advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link at www.jcfridays.com/virtualkickoff.
Here are some of the events that will be available on Sept. 10:
Project Greenville will present its crossover group art show, A Family Affair, from 4 to 7 p.m. at 128 Winfield Ave., celebrating the creativity, community, competition, and camaraderie of family with art, music, and light refreshments. The show will also return for JCAST in October.
The Statuary: 1000W Show featuring Jim Watt & the Antoine Drye Quartet can be seen from 6 to 10 p.m. at 53 Congress St. 1000W is a collaboration of art, music, photography and filmmaking by artist Jim Watt, who is creating a series of 1,000 ink washes in the monochromatic Japanese Sumi ink and water. A quartet led by jazz trumpeter Antoine Drye will improvise as Watts paints in real time.
The Cocoa Bakery & Cafe, 475 Central Ave., will have Digital Cityscapes by Ben Fine from 6 to 8 p.m. Fine’s series of giclee printed digital paintings will be shown for the first time at JC Fridays. The paintings are cityscapes made by Fine while overlooking Hamilton Park during the lockdown of 2020. The series is a meditation on the view of the park as the seasons changed.
A live jazz performance by the Jack Breslin Trio will take place at NLK Studio from 6 to 9 p.m. The band will be performing original jazz compositions and a selection of standards while local visual artists will also be featured around the studio. The studio is located in Unit 3E, third floor of the warehouse building at 195 New York Ave.
The Fine Arts Gallery at St. Peter’s University will feature Dot Paolo’s The Monkey Bars and the Crow from 5 to 7 p.m. Paolo’s photography series stems from the monkey bars of her childhood in the school yard of Irving School in Highland Park.
Bringing back fond memories of her childhood and collecting the many toys she had as child, Paolo began to investigate how these items and memories might have influenced her artwork. For this series, she built a model of the monkey bars out of wood. The photos narrate the process beginning when she made her first structure out of marshmallows all the way to the present.
The photographs are divided between using miniature items in a diorama format and life-size still life’s and landscape photographs. Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” is also referenced in the series.
Paolo has been using toys and objects for years in her photos, gathering them from flea markets, antique stores, and online sellers like Ebay and Amazon. The photos were taken with a Nikon D750 SLR digital camera and the photos were printed on an Epson 7600 with archival ink on hot press bright paper.
NJCU Galleries will have a group exhibit, “Too Much, Overconsumption and Our Relationship to Stuff,” which runs until Oct. 15. The show runs from 4 to 7 p.m. on JC Fridays and features artists Nancy Buchanan, Donna Conklin King, Maggie Ens, Vandana Jain, Robert Lach, Poramit Thantapalit, and Mollie Thonneson. The exhibit contemplates the various effects of consumerism in culture and society and touches on themes such as plastic pollution, recycling, fast fashion, capitalism, advertising, and desire.
Also taking place simultaneously is Surface Tension by Amanda Thackray. The solo exhibit features Thackray’s handmade paper installations, prints, and sculpture that comment on plastic pollution and the fragility of the natural marine environment. NJCU Visual Arts Gallery is located in the Visual Arts Building at 100 Culver Street on the basement level.
New works in non-traditional media by Guillermo Bublik can be seen from 5 to 11 p.m. A recent transplant from Chicago, Bublik is opening his new Studio 225, at 150 Bay St., to share his work with his new Jersey City neighbors. With an interest in the interplay between chance and purpose in the creation of art, he uses non-traditional combinations of painting media and surfaces in order to create unexpected effects.
From 6 to 10 p.m., the studio of Jonte Drew, the current artist in residence at Art Fair 14C, will be open to the public at Studio 259. A visual artist from Paterson, Drew’s style uses humor to investigate the shared experiences of African Americans in America, the commodification of urban culture and the conversations surrounding mental health. His paintings and drawings often feature himself and Black individuals with an emphasis on their humanity of by placing them in various scenes of leisure and domesticity.
Studio 225 and 259 are both part of the new studio complex at 150 Bay Street.
All event listings include COVID-19 Protocols. A complete list of vents for JC Fridays can be found at https://www.jcfridays.com. JC Fridays is sponsored by Jersey City Municipal Council & Cultural Affairs, Jersey City Times, Central Avenue SID, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. Support for Access expenses on this program provided in part through funding from Access A.R.T./New York, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York).