JC Fridays came about in response to the closing of 111 First St. in Jersey City. Some of the art leaders in Jersey City got together to see if they could work out a way to build up an audience for art in town and find a place for the displaced artists to display their work.
Some of the groups at the first meeting included: Art House Productions, Jersey City Museum, Pro Arts, Victory Hall, Grace Church, Gallery 58, Mana Fine Arts, and others. In addition to discussing what should be done, they went around in the community to involve local businesses. This is the third JC Fridays event after two other successful events in the summer and fall. The event is growing. The most recent one brought over 300 people to the Jersey City art scene.
The group plans to hold JC Fridays four times a year, at the change of every season. Right now the spring event is already scheduled for Friday, March 3. Many of the venues, like Grace Church Van Vorst, City Hall, and The Jersey City Museum, were involved in past JC Friday events and are strong supporters of the arts. According to Christine Goodman, director of Art House Productions, the response from the community has been great.
"It's nice to have something community oriented on a regular basis," said Goodman. "It gets people out." The event is set up to allow people to go to many events to get a real sampling of the art scene in Jersey City. "Look at the listings, look at the times," said Goodman. "Some of them are staggered enough so you can see many things."
Art House Productions, one of the main organizers of the event, will not be performing this season. This past fall, Art House Productions had a spoken word performance. "We took this season off so we can enjoy some of the other events," said Goodman.
This Friday, the event starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 3 a.m. (For complete list of times and events, see sidebar.) City Hall will exhibit two different exhibits. In the John Meagher Rotunda Gallery on the second floor will be The Greenville Yards exhibit featuring work by five photographers including work by, Thomas Flagg, Andrzej Lech, Anna Lukasiak, Frank Machinski, and Leon Yost. On the third floor is the solo exhibit by Ibou Ndoye. The Greenville Yards exhibit will feature documentary photographs of the last working float bridge on the Hudson River.
"It's the last of many. In the '30s there were hundreds of these," said Yost. "For freight you had to have a float bridge."
According to Yost, the five photographers involved are each taking a different approach to the photos. Machinsky has pictures of the workers from when he worked at Greenville. Flagg is an author of two books on Greenville. All five are using old-fashioned cameras; no digitals were used to get the images.
Victory Hall presents The Long Christmas Dinner, a play by Thorton Wilder, presented by The Management Company. The story follows four generations of the Bayard family at various Christmas dinners in their home. The play starts at 8 p.m. and reservations are recommended. To reserve tickets please call, (646) 320-1318.
Windows on Columbus has a 24-hour window exhibition by artist Ibou Ndyoye.
Mana Fine Arts has an opening party for the exhibition, The Chair Story, which examines the chair in all its figures of speech and function. The exhibit features work by artists: Maggie Ens, Scott Frielander, Steve Hirshon, Iris Kufert-Rivo, Richard Mason, Judy Richardson, Saul Robbins, Barbara Salander, Lynn Saville, Roger Sayer, Robert Schafer Jr., Barbara Singer, Nyugen Smith, Marilyn Stern, Ev Stone, Paul Sullivan, Rose Viggiano, Michael Whitney, Mike Womack, Randy Williams, and Herb Youner.
The Jersey City Museum opens its doors to the public for all the current exhibitions. 17 artists are currently displaying work including work by Michelle Vitale Loughlin's exhibition Bound, Circa Craft 2005 by the NJ State Council on the Arts Craft Annual, and work by guest artist to the permanent collection by Margaret Murphy.
Grigory Gurevich presents his exhibit Watercolors all day in his studio.
Grace Church Van Vorst presents an evening of musical performances. Hudson County Music presents a short program of Bach, Beethoven and more by the Overtone Duet, featuring musicians Rafael Rodriguez on viola and Sunyen Lee on piano. There will be an informal preview performance of Jonathan Riedel's latest ballet Purgatorio, the second part of the Riedel Dance Theater's work in progress, The Divine Comedy.
Yoga Shunya presents an evening of dance and music. The dance performances are by Heather Warfel and the county Prep High School Dance program from 8 to 8:45 p.m. Live Jazz with the Dave Willocks Jazz Group, a concert of original music led by Dave Willocks, guitarist and Yoga instructor. For more information please call, (201) 610-9737.
The Breher Brothers building presents: Apparitions of Festive Occasions, a series of 30 years of work, by E. Jan Kounitz plus work from the series Me-Hood, a series that documents Jersey City Heights.
Simple Café & Bar presents a photography exhibit by Andre Omar Watts. Watts strives to capture images and moments in life that usually pass unnoticed. For more information please call, (201) 222-3105.
Melt, a café and eatery, features an exhibit by Peter Giaccio. Mention JC Fridays and get 15 percent off your bill all day.
Gallerie Hudson is hosting a complimentary wine and cheese reception featuring an exhibit by local and international artists.
The free events presented throughout the city were made possible by the generous support from the following: Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, The Jersey City Division of Cultural Affairs, The Jersey City Reporter, The Jersey City Magazine, Downtown SID, Art House Productions, and The Jersey City Museum.
Local business supporters include: Grace Church Van Vorst, Sweet Priscilla, Victory Hall Cultural Center, Janam Tea, Melt, Mana Fine Arts, Pro Arts, and Yoga Shunya.
For more information on the event please visit: www.jcfridays.com.
City Hall, 280 Grove St., art, 9 to 9 p.m.
Melt, 581 Jersey Avenue, art and food, 11 to 8:30 p.m.
Jersey City Museum, 350 Montgomery St., art, 11 to 5 p.m.
Grigory Gurevich Studio, 282 Barrow St., art, 12 to 6 p.m.
Simple Café & Bar, 174 Coles St., art, 4 to 3 a.m.
Mana Fine Arts, 227 Coles St., art, 6 to 8 p.m.
Gallerie Hudson, 197 Newark Ave., reception, 6 to 9 p.m.
Victory Hall, 186 Grand St., play, 8 to 9:15 p.m.
Grace Church, 39 Erie St., dance and music, 8 to 10 p.m.
Yoga Shunya, 275 Grove St., live jazz and dance, 8 to 11 p.m.
Sweet Priscilla, 530 Jersey Ave., spoken word, 10 p.m. to midnight
Windows on Columbus, Christopher Columbus Blvd., outdoor art, all hours
Breher Brothers building, 357 Palisades Ave., outdoor art, all hours