There was music. There was comedy. There were food and libations. There was heavy foot traffic throughout the city. And of course there was art. Loads of it.
Jersey City isn’t art capital of the Northeast. But for a few days from Oct. 11 to 14, it sure felt like it. This year, more than 400 artists exhibited their work in more than 86 studios, galleries, restaurants, and other venues that comprised the tour, which is co-sponsored each year by Pro Arts and the Jersey City Division of Cultural Affairs. Corporate sponsors included the Hudson Reporter. Collectively, the sites exhibited art that ranged from photography to painting, sculpture, film, video art, and music.
This year, the tour also coincided with the final two days of the annual Golden Door International Film Festival, an independent movie festival that was inaugurated last year.
When it was announced earlier this year that the two events would overlap, there was concern that they might compete with one another and actually draw patrons away from each other. While the organizers of the two events said this appeared not to happen, they agree that next year the Artists’ Studio Tour and Golden Door International Film Festival will take place on different weekends.
“I thought it was a good idea to try. Because if you don’t try something, you don’t know how it might turn out. And it actually didn’t turn out badly at all. It was actually quite successful,” said Maryanne Kelleher, director of the Division of Cultural Affairs. “Our foot traffic for the Studio Tour was very good. And my sense is the Golden Door [International] Film Festival actually had a slight increase in ticket sales from last year. But I have heard some people say that by having the two events going on at the same time at approximately the same hours, they missed a lot of stuff they had wanted to see.”
Kelleher said she doesn’t expect a scheduling conflict next year. The 2013 Artists’ Studio Tour will take place the first weekend of October.
Bill Sorvino, founder of the Golden Door International Film Festival, said, “I don’t think the two events detracted from each other as much as they could have. We actually did sell more tickets this year than we did in 2011. But I agree it’s probably better to keep the two events separate and distinct. I know I wish I had been able to see some of the Artists’ Studio Tour, which I wasn’t able to do. And I missed seeing some people who I know attended the film festival last year, but who I didn’t see much of this year.”
He said he has not set firm dates for the 2013 film festival, but is eyeing Oct. 10 through 13 for his indie move shindig.
Mark those calendars. In the meantime, here’s a photographic look back on the weekend that was.