This weekend (Oct. 21-22), Ndoye will be one of more than 500 artists at 100 venues displaying their works in the 16th annual Jersey City Artists Studio Tour. It is estimated that at least 70 percent of the artists exhibiting their work are Jersey City residents.
The growth of largest annual art event in the city may say something about the impact of Jersey City upon the art scene in the New York/New Jersey.
But what about the impact of Jersey City upon artists themselves - does the state's second largest city have an influence upon how art is created within its borders?The city as a muse
Milena Filipova is a Bulgarian painter who has called home the Paulus Hook section of Jersey City since 2002. Her art has taken her throughout the world, as she has resided in Rome, Philadelphia and Baltimore in the past 10 years.
But Jersey City has seeped into work most prominently, as she has displayed in her home studio, oil and watercolor renderings of various sections of her adopted city.
There's the impressionist exuberance of Van Vorst Park in one corner and the vibrant seascape of Black Magic, a depiction of a boat docked in the Liberty Marina.
"I would take walks around the neighborhood and I started seeing these beautiful landscapes that I wanted to paint," said Filipova.
Filipova said what also helped her were the new residents moving into her neighborhood who started commissioning her to paint pictures of their homes or condos.
Another painter who has let Jersey City seep through in his work is Orlando Cuevas, a longtime Jersey City resident who over the years has created sculpture and painting of buildings such as the old Hudson and Manhattan Powerhouse on Washington Street and other downtown apartment complexes.
Singing his praises were fellow artist and Jersey City resident Duda Penteado.
"I love his art depicting the day-to-day of Jersey City," said Penteado. "I myself am not attracted to the Jersey City architecture, but I take inspiration in how Orlando see Jersey City in his work." A sense of community
Paul Sullivan moved to Jersey City in 1997 with his wife Barbara Landes. The couple was among the last residents of 111 First St., the former home of the P. Lorillard Tobacco Co., which was transformed into the city's premier art complex in the 15 years until to its closing in May 2005.
Sullivan is the current president of the Jersey City-based non-profit arts organization Pro Arts.
Sullivan sees "Jersey City is a big, small town" and that for him is a good thing.
"Everybody knows each other here in Jersey City and that fosters a very strong, creative community," said Sullivan who is a sculptor. "And that community is still growing."
Ibou Ndoye came to Jersey City at the end of 2001. A native of the West African country of Senegal, Ndoye specializes in glass painting. But rather than painting on clean sheets of regularly shaped glass, Ndoye has created a new art form by breaking and layering the glass with other materials including copper wire, broken bottles, wood, bone, and animal skin.
Ndoye's work will be shown at five different venues during the art tour. He sees the influence of Jersey City just from what he has experienced every year taking part in the tour.
"It is about networking and that for me is Jersey City is about - a great artist networking community," said Iboye. "It reminds me of when I was in Africa; I was in a very strong art community."
Duda Penteado has for the past 10 years made his home in Jersey City. Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Penteado works in a variety of mediums such as canvas, wood, printmaking and video installations.
Penteado has received acclaim in recent years for his work, Beauty for Ashes, an artistic reaction to 9/11 consisting of painting and sculpture. Much of the artwork is modeled after the legendary artist Pablo Picasso's famous painting Guernica - a reaction to the bombing of a Spanish village in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War.
Penetado said it is the international flavor of Jersey City that makes him comfortable with practicing his art here.
"50 different communities from different counties, you learn from so many different styles," said Penteado. "Yet it so close and you do have a sense of neighborhood." Proximity to the Big Apple
Penteado said also he is fortunate to be an artist living across from New York City, considered next to Paris to be the premiere art center of the world.
"I am fortunate that I can go to the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), which is right across the river," said Penteado. "Whenever I go back to Brazil to speak, I meet up with art students who tell me that wish they could live in the New York area so they can be close to MOMA."
But on a more serious note, Penteado spoke of Jersey City having a full view of what happened on 9/11.
"I don't I would have created Beauty for Ashes the same way if I didn't see it up close as I did that day and that was from living in Jersey City," said Penteado.
Filipova said it is the new people moving from New York City, especially those with financial backgrounds, that has had an immense impact.
"It used to be I would sell all work in Manhattan," he said, "and most times I still do, but I now I have a market for my work here amongst my neighbors." Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at email@example.com