The arts are alive and well in Bayonne.
Since a successful Art Circle outdoor art show scheduled for this summer was recently cancelled abruptly, a coalition of city artists has picked up the slack, organizing an exhibit at an uptown Broadway location that had a well-attended opening night on Friday, June 20.
The Art Collaboration Show opened at Bee’s Art Studio, 914 Broadway, and will run until July 11, according to spokeswoman Patricia Mulligan.
The artists featured are Christine Crowley, Caryn La Greca, Christopher Taylor, and Mulligan, photography; Erin Kachmar and Bill Zbylut, oil and acrylic; Kevin Delaney, ink work and photos on canvass; Elliot Appel, acrylic; Bryan Cicalese, pen and red marker; Fernando Fernandez, mixed media; Nicholas Macchia, digital painting; and Volha Mikhnevich, oil and sculpture.
Several of the artists derive income from their artwork. For some of the others, their handiwork is just a labor of love.
Kachmar is an artist by trade, teaching courses at the Bayonne Jewish Community Center, as well as formerly at the city’s YWCA. Her medium is oil and acrylic paints, and she said her pieces take as much as 30 hours apiece to create.
Some of the other artists have fulltime jobs, but still find as much as an hour or two a day to continually refine their skills in the craft.
For Kevin Delaney, a New York financial company layoff led to an interest in starting his own art medium and business; that of a bar napkin artist; he even went so far as to acquire a registered trademark for his creations.
Delaney’s other creations, photos on canvas, are very personal, evoking the fond memories of a Jersey Shore amusement park or sad ones spurred by the 9/11 tragedy.
Her photographs of bridges, sunsets, landscapes, and nature are what motivate accounts payable clerk Crowley.
“I hope it to be one day more than a hobby,” she said. “I do it more for me. It’s a therapy, it relaxes me. I enjoy it.”
For Macchia, it’s about all kinds of related endeavors.
“I’ve dubbed myself a digital entrepreneur,” he said.” He uses Photoshop, Illustrator, Light Room, Dreamweaver, and all of the Adobe Suite for his creations.
In addition to his digital paintings, he is working on iPhone applications and a website to make all artists’ work copyrighted as soon as they post it there.
Cicalese’s artwork is centered around beasts, monsters, and historical figures – and only black, red, and white, for some of the most contrasting images imaginable.
Cicalese, an IT professional and teacher of karate to children, uses his artwork to relieve stress.
“It’s a way to stay young,’ he said.
Taylor, who shoots events as a part-time income source, shoots his personal photography in black and white.
“It’s more dramatic, more nostalgic,” he said. “Color is nice, but black and white really stands out.”
Appel is traditional and nostalgic in his art, creating acrylic scenes of longtime and disappearing landmarks. His works include renderings of the famous McSorley’s ale house in New York’s East Village, as well as the Liberty Electricity Co. sign in Bayonne
Many of the participants said the show was not only about giving them a venue to display their work, but also to keep the arts scene in the city alive and vibrant. Mulligan agrees, saying the disappointment of the Art Circle event cancellation did not quash the enthusiasm of the city’s art community.
“This show proves that there’s still an interest in art in Bayonne,” she said.
After receiving the email that the Art Circle show would not happen, city artists unified and acted. The Art Collaboration Show was assembled in just two weeks.
“A handful of people got together and said let’s give it a go,” Mulligan said.
Days and hours
The show will be open most weekdays from noon to 7 p.m., and on weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Those with questions should email Mulligan at firstname.lastname@example.org.