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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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sweet list, shanty.

Posted on: 2009/6/2 15:54
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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Iris Kufert-Rivo

http://www.ikrstudio.com

Posted on: 2009/6/2 12:48
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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Posted on: 2009/6/2 0:00
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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"In general, I was looking for input on what's out there, what's going on, who's doing good work, etc."

An incomplete list of artists I respect, admire and support in Jersey City, Newark, and the region:

Agitators Collective:
http://agitatorscollective.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/agitator_aaa/
http://agitatorscollective.com/

Margaret Murphy:
http://www.margaret-murphy.com/

Michelle Loughlin:
http://www.woolpunkstudios.com/Site/HOME.html

Mark Dagley:
http://www.markdagley.com/

Roger Sayre:
http://www.rogersayre.com/

Jim Pustorino:
http://www.universechild.net/pustorinopaintings

Nyguen Smith:
http://www.nyugensmith.com/

Beth Gilifilen:
http://bethgilfilen.com/

Sara Wolfe:
http://afonline.artistsspace.org/view_artist.php?aid=3687

Scott Taylor:
http://www.vandanyc.com/artists/taylor/01.php

Jon Rappeleye:
http://www.baileygallery.com/artists_02.cfm?fid=109

Mauro Altamura:
http://registry.whitecolumns.org/view_artist.php?artist=252

_GAIA
http://www.gaiastudio.org/

Hiroshi Kumagai:
http://www.gaiastudio.org/

Dahlia Elsayed:
http://www.dahliaelsayed.com/bio/

Andrew Demirjian:
http://www.andrewdemirjian.com

Ryan Roa:
http://ryanroa.com/

A quick list of museum + galleries in Jersey City I support:

Jersey City Museum:
www.jerseycitymuseum.org

Abaton Gallery (Mark Dagley + Lauri Bortz)
http://www.abatongarage.com/

Victory Arts Projects aka Victory Hall:
http://victoryartsprojects.org/

Lex Leonard:
http://www.lexleonardgallery.com/info.htm

58 Gallery:
http://www.fifty8.com/

Curious Matter:
http://curiousmatter.blogspot.com/

A list of galleries in Newark, NJ I respect and admire:

Rupert Ravens Contemporary:
http://rupertravens.net/

Gallery Aferro:
http://rupertravens.net/

City Without Walls:
http://www.cwow.org/

Paul Robeson Gallery:
http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/artgallery/index.html

Aljira:
http://www.aljira.org/

Posted on: 2009/6/1 13:56
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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wingedgorgon wrote: Ok, I'll admit that as an artist, JC art blogger, and pretty active local arts activist some of these posts have made me thump my keyboard in rage and imagine what a jellyfish feels like when it's beached and being poked by an overstimulated child with a stick. But. I will refrain. I just have to specify that there is a difference between people who want to see a thriving arts scene in Jersey City, and those who want to participate in one. Quote:
Not being part of the arts community, it's not my job to come up with the solutions, but support them I will.
Ouch. So you want lots of art venues (created by other people), lots of free events to attend, a hip community of active artists to observe, and organizations that "wow" you as a non-participant. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who would flat out say "no" to having more galleries and art venues around the city, but you'd also have a difficult time finding people who are willing to jump in and make it happen. And...for me and most people active in Jersey City art (artists or otherwise), it's not our "job" either; it's something we do because it needs to be done. If you care about art then you ARE a member of the arts community, so PLEASE, before I give myself an annurism or something, take Christine up on volunteering, email ProArts or Victory Art Projects and ask what you can do to help. On the educational front: on Left Bank Art Blog we cover JC-based news/events/criticism on (almost) a daily basis, and I am preparing a gallery (or exhibit-venue) guide to Jersey City. This thread may even inspire a post once I calm down a little.
There's really no reason to be upset. I have been very open that I am far from being an authority on art and I am looking for feedback/ pushback, so my opinions on the arts are still "under construction." Also, I sincerely believe I have next to nothing to contribute to the organizations you mentioned. I will re-think that. However, I take this opportunity to comment on what others have noted above and in many other threads on different topics: saying "if you don't like it, change it or leave" is little more than the community activist's version of the uber-patriot's "take it or leave it"... which is so unhelpful. I'm not asking for advice input on how I can change the world of art. In general, I was looking for input on what's out there, what's going on, who's doing good work, etc. Not what I can do (which few suggested), but what others are doing (which few suggested). I may have briefly mentioned helping out, but I don't remember and I haven't done it. That said: thank you for linking to the Left Bank blog. I've never heard of it. I see already there are many new and interesting ideas there, such as the one about the press. The comparison of "welcoming" architecture, for example, provides other great new insights as well. At that, I'm leaving this behind.

Posted on: 2009/6/1 5:47
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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Ok, I'll admit that as an artist, JC art blogger, and pretty active local arts activist some of these posts have made me thump my keyboard in rage and imagine what a jellyfish feels like when it's beached and being poked by an overstimulated child with a stick. But. I will refrain.

I just have to specify that there is a difference between people who want to see a thriving arts scene in Jersey City, and those who want to participate in one.

Quote:
Not being part of the arts community, it's not my job to come up with the solutions, but support them I will.


Ouch.

So you want lots of art venues (created by other people), lots of free events to attend, a hip community of active artists to observe, and organizations that "wow" you as a non-participant. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who would flat out say "no" to having more galleries and art venues around the city, but you'd also have a difficult time finding people who are willing to jump in and make it happen. And...for me and most people active in Jersey City art (artists or otherwise), it's not our "job" either; it's something we do because it needs to be done.

If you care about art then you ARE a member of the arts community, so PLEASE, before I give myself an annurism or something, take Christine up on volunteering, email ProArts or Victory Art Projects and ask what you can do to help.

On the educational front: on Left Bank Art Blog we cover JC-based news/events/criticism on (almost) a daily basis, and I am preparing a gallery (or exhibit-venue) guide to Jersey City. This thread may even inspire a post once I calm down a little.

Posted on: 2009/6/1 4:46
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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frankly, if you admit you don't know much about art, i don't know how you can characterize any venue as "irrelevant or ineffectual". you've got a list of places you don't know much about. visit them, look at the art, and you've solved your own problem.
I understand that "buying art" makes it go. I cannot afford it, but I think it needs to be said, again and again, that is the way to support the arts community. What I don't see are more creative ways to effectuate that plan, i.e., more than a once-annual gallery tour, JC Fridays, and sporadic openings at es oro, 56, and restaurant-based showings. Not being part of the arts community, it's not my job to come up with the solutions, but support them I will. As stated much, much, much earlier in the thread there are times when I have been underwhelmed by the arts scene. But as to the other part: judging quality or popularity of art is not the same as judging an institution for it's impact. Right or wrong, I do have my opinion, of whatever merit, about whether the institutions noted above make an impact. I have visited some of those places. That's the basis of my opinion. I've stated explicitly that I wanted others to inform me otherwise.

Posted on: 2009/6/1 0:54
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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designknob wrote:
Man, you just can't please some people. Most of the stuff is downtown. Just about all of downtown is walkable. You also seem to know the "bigger" places as well. I simply cannot believe you are complaining because there is "too much" going on. The maps are perfectly clear. You could be living in another town with zero going on. There's always going to be something they could do better, but please. And again as was stated, you can always volunteer your services to make it better.


I "volunteered" my time to contact the folks involved, and now took the time to acknowledge their work here. Originally, I hoped to generate a discussion on the state of the arts community. That has happened, somewhat. I have not budgeted time for other volunteering, but am not opposed to it.

As to the rest of what you said, I'm not sure what you mean. I never raised the issue of what's downtown/ walkable/ etc, and I never complained that there is "too much" going on. In general, I was WONDERING if people in the arts community had some feedback on what's going on "well" or how it can change. Specifically, I had feedback for JC Fridays and they seemed to appreciate it.

Posted on: 2009/6/1 0:43
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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Quote:

alanwright wrote:

seling/ shilling (a shanty irish joke) for some art galleries and arts institutions doesn't address the question of health.

Quote:
(telling me to "buy art" is not an answer)


maybe you don't want to buy art, or can't. but selling art is the business of art, and it is what makes the "art scene" go.

the artists make things run. when you buy their art, they can eat and pay rent and stuff like that. then they make more art and produce more shows and you get to go. it's actually a direct line.

Quote:
does anyone even know that list? (maybe bright moment or somebody).

I knew a few of that list, but there are some I've never heard of, believe to be tiny or irrelevant or ineffectual are:

* Curious Matter
* Victory Arts (moved... but what since?)
* The Garage
* NJCU
* Jersey City Cultural Affairs (this one i know, but found it boring)
* Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs
* Heights Arts Initiative
* CASID.

of course, what do i know? not much about art, as admitted above. please inform me otherwise, and whatever else you can tell me about the best way to support all this art and learn about the community, etc., including the world beyond JC Fridays and the annual tour.


frankly, if you admit you don't know much about art, i don't know how you can characterize any venue as "irrelevant or ineffectual".

you've got a list of places you don't know much about. visit them, look at the art, and you've solved your own problem.

Posted on: 2009/5/31 15:55
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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Man, you just can't please some people. Most of the stuff is downtown. Just about all of downtown is walkable. You also seem to know the "bigger" places as well. I simply cannot believe you are complaining because there is "too much" going on. The maps are perfectly clear. You could be living in another town with zero going on. There's always going to be something they could do better, but please. And again as was stated, you can always volunteer your services to make it better.

Posted on: 2009/5/31 15:36
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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was this thread merged? because this does not answer the previous questions.

seling/ shilling (a shanty irish joke) for some art galleries and arts institutions doesn't address the question of health. does anyone even know that list? (maybe bright moment or somebody).

I knew a few of that list, but there are some I've never heard of, believe to be tiny or irrelevant or ineffectual are:

* Curious Matter
* Victory Arts (moved... but what since?)
* The Garage
* NJCU
* Jersey City Cultural Affairs (this one i know, but found it boring)
* Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs
* Heights Arts Initiative
* CASID.

of course, what do i know? not much about art, as admitted above. please inform me otherwise, and whatever else you can tell me about the best way to support all this art and learn about the community, etc., including the world beyond JC Fridays and the annual tour.

(telling me to "buy art" is not an answer)

Posted on: 2009/5/31 12:05
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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Jersey City has a wealth of artists and art enthusiasts. However, the city does not have the commercial foundation/interests to fully support and sustain professional artists.

That being said, there are several institutions dedicated to cultivating and supporting the artist community. Here is a brief list: Jersey City Museum; Gallery 58; Curious Matter; Victory Arts; The Garage; NJCU; Jersey City Cultural Affairs; Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs; Heights Arts Initiative; CASID.

Jersey City Museum is a great venue to see contemporary art. The museum is located on 350 Montgomery Street. Rocio Aranda, Curator, does as exceptional job organizing exhibitions, and cultivating a diverse range of talent. In addition to the exhibitions, the museum has a series of public programs that are geared to artists, art enthusiasts, and community.

Gallery 58 is a gallery in downtown Jersey City that has been featured in The New York Times and New York Magazine. Orlando Reyes, Gallery Director, has curated top shelf talent. Billy Miller organized a great show last spring, and Endless Boogie played a hot set in the back.

Curious Matter is an exhibition venue for contemporary visual art located in downtown Jersey City. Curious Matter strives to foster dialogue among artists at all career stages with a calendar of regular exhibitions.

Margaret Murphy curates the exhibition space The Garage in the Heights. She features emerging and mid career artists from NYC to Jersey City.

Midori Yoshimoto curates wonderful exhibitions at NJCU in Greenville. She scored a major coup last year, and organized a series of screenings of Yoko Ono's work. In addition to the screening, Ms. Ono presented a lecture.

Posted on: 2009/5/31 3:58
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Re: on JC artists community-on behalf of RockSoup
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bump:

the new JC Fridays map looks great. the designers took the suggestions (long earlier thread) to heart and definitely made some improvements, in my mind. it seems the system now is neighborhood based instead of chronological.

so, exchange place is items 1-3. grove street is items 4-10. etc. ham park is 11-17. the map reflects these numbers.

also: i did NOT volunteer to actually do any of the work. many thanks to those who have the interest, skill set, and know how. (i probably could help also, but am yet to execute it).

THANKS!

Posted on: 2009/5/30 18:14
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Re: on JC artists community-on behalf of RockSoup
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Thanks Bright, I imagine I just haven't always heard whats going on at City Hall & the Courthouse for my lack of keeping up on Pro Arts website.

Greg IS great and I usually get his emails about events.

I'm looking forward to the RockSoup V-day event Fathom, let me know how I can help


Posted on: 2009/1/14 20:20
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Re: on JC artists community-on behalf of RockSoup
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Yeah its about putting into the collective pot so to speak. Originally it was about pooling all the resources and having everyone do an equal amt of work for the cause, but as artists arent always so motivated it became 2-5 people really working on getting everything going and then pooling a variety of talent together to put on some culturally diverse events and art spectacles during pertinent times. For instance we will be hosting a St VALENTINES DAY MASSACRE event at the ROCKSOUP LOFT. Stay tuned.

Posted on: 2009/1/14 0:29
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Re: on JC artists community-on behalf of RockSoup
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ilikeglass wrote:
I was just having this conversation with a friend of mine. I\'d like to offer a few observations.

I noticed that recently (the past year or so) I really wasn\'t hanging out in Jersey City like I used to and I was wondering why...My friend and I got to talking and realized that we lost a couple of venues where art and socializing were greatly supported. One was Victory Hall, there was always an opening to attend or an art show to try out for to have your work shown.

+1! Jim Pustorino did a superb job in working with local artists and curators. The use of this space is missed terribly. Also, Christine Goodman's Art House Productions were better suited here, IMO, than it's current location.

Second was Grace Church. Once Garth moved, there are no longer the monthly art shows and openings, music and poetry included, that were so great to be a part of. It was also a very family friendly venue.

+1! Garth was the heart and soul of Grace Church's Art. Music, Film & Poetry productions. The last art show on the Studio Tour was sadly lacking compared to what Garth & Donald did with the space in years past. I don't get the feeling that Grace Church really cares anymore about their reaching out to the artist community or either lacks the "personality" who could commit to what Garth did for them.

3rd was the weekly email update from ProArts. I miss it!!. Sure it was long and slightly cumbersome, but that was good, it meant there were things going on and calls to artists wanting to be answered. I know I can always go check on their website, but I don\'t always remember that and its not the same as getting an email announcement.

+1! I agree completely with what you say about ProArts. If you do a search here you'll see I used to post in it's entirety the weekly list of artist openings, etc. Now with their awful new web site it doesn't offer nearly what the "low tech" email proffered.

Also, there used to be way more art openings going on at both the courthouse up on Newark Ave by the square and at city hall, and MFA under the overpass.

-1! I disagree with you about City Hall. Greg Brickey has done an excellent job as curator for the Cultural Affairs Dept. and I suggest you contact him directly if you have any positive suggestions as Greg is very accessible and listens to everyone with sincerity.

The Brennan Court House still has excellent music due to Thomas De Gise's interest and support. Art & Theater shows have been less but I think this may be lack of curators working with Hudson County Cultural Affairs Dept.

I have no insight into MFA at all.

[...]

I also agree that it is discouraging to go to a JC Friday event and its a restaurant on a regular night hoping for customers. It is uncomfortable to walk in and look at the art and have to lean over someone who is trying to enjoy their meal in order to read the bio on the wall. Its not fair to the artist displaying their work either. That night should be about showcasing & promoting the artist you have chosen to show. [...]

+1! I love Christine and what she does with Art House Productions but I have never been a fan of how JC Fridays is just a commercial promo gimmick for most restaurants/bars who use it to get some customers in. The feeling is more like "Throw some art on the wall so we get listed in the publicity", than a keen attention to the work of the artist. LITM is an exception, IMO, but the rest are just along for the promo ride of getting people into their place.

I think I've ranted enough for now...

It was a good and focused rant!

Posted on: 2009/1/13 22:36
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Re: on JC artists community-on behalf of RockSoup
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I was just having this conversation with a friend of mine. I\'d like to offer a few observations.

I noticed that recently (the past year or so) I really wasn\'t hanging out in Jersey City like I used to and I was wondering why...My friend and I got to talking and realized that we lost a couple of venues where art and socializing were greatly supported. One was Victory Hall, there was always an opening to attend or an art show to try out for to have your work shown.

Second was Grace Church. Once Garth moved, there are no longer the monthly art shows and openings, music and poetry included, that were so great to be a part of. It was also a very family friendly venue.

3rd was the weekly email update from ProArts. I miss it!!. Sure it was long and slightly cumbersome, but that was good, it meant there were things going on and calls to artists wanting to be answered. I know I can always go check on their website, but I don\'t always remember that and its not the same as getting an email announcement.

Also, there used to be way more art openings going on at both the courthouse up on Newark Ave by the square and at city hall, and MFA under the overpass.

As an artist myself who has actively participated in the JC art scene for a few years now, I admit I am getting tired of it. Not for lack of talent, just visit any other town or city outside of JC (not counting NYC) and you will see there is SERIOUS talent right here, really great artists are here and I love knowing many of them and love meeting those I haven\'t met yet. What\'s tiring is the

LACK OF SALES!!!

At these wonderful events that still take place, I say, where are the buyers? Where are the little red dots that show the paintings & drawings and scupltures have been sold??

I agree with the OP\'s who say it is the artists who make up the nightlife here, so if those of you non-artists want there to be more reasons to hang out and have a good time, you need to buy some art. Fish with Braids is doing a great job of having a monthly show and bring in people from other neighborhoods in JC as well as from NYC. How many hundreds of people live over in Newport & don\'t even know we have an art scene??


I also agree that it is discouraging to go to a JC Friday event and its a restaurant on a regular night hoping for customers. It is uncomfortable to walk in and look at the art and have to lean over someone who is trying to enjoy their meal in order to read the bio on the wall. Its not fair to the artist displaying their work either. That night should be about showcasing & promoting the artist you have chosen to show. Move some tables around for the evening, offer some sangria for gratis and people will stay, the longer they stay the more likely they are to feel comfortable, perhaps buy something they like and order some food to soak up the free sangria in their tummies.

I think I\'ve ranted enough for now...

Posted on: 2009/1/13 21:17
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Re: on JC artists community-on behalf of RockSoup
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Fathom wrote:

Quote:

Is Rocksoup fulfilling its approach?? Not sure what that exactly means.


I don't know what the Rock Soup approach means, either. I guess it means something about being in a collective and everyone chipping in their own vegetables to make a soup taste better. I was wondering if that's working out from, I guess, your perspective or others involved there.

Quote:

Whats the concern? JC is nearly completely dependent on the artists for their nightlife and alternatives to the same ol bar scene. The real question is --What have the yuppies done for us lately is my question? ha! People start buying art and the scene gets better.


I agree about the need to buy art. I'm a student, so that's not a real option for me right now.

To facilitate such sales, does the community need more or different galleries? More art tours? More or different marketing? A better economic environment? Or better artists? (I wouldn't know, but I've seen some bad stuff). Maybe the new live venue at Iron Monkey presents one new option, but there has to be more that could be done... by all these organizations out there to revamp their work.

Posted on: 2009/1/12 23:11
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Re: on JC artists community-on behalf of RockSoup
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Is Rocksoup fulfilling its approach?? Not sure what that exactly means. What I can tell you is RS just came back from Art Basel where we did a small Art show. Not being an artist I can tell you that Art Basel is the biggest and possibly the most significant of the Art Fairs in and outside the U.S.
We were there last yr as well and our interest is in bringing outsiders into the artscene and bringing JC artist to other areas. We also curate a space in the south bronx where I have been mainly exhibiting JC artists.

Whats the concern? JC is nearly completely dependent on the artists for their nightlife and alternatives to the same ol bar scene. The real question is --What have the yuppies done for us lately is my question? ha! People start buying art and the scene gets better.

Posted on: 2008/12/27 21:56
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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NJArtHouse wrote:

Quote:


But we pulled through when community members stepped up and helped out. I thank them sincerely for believing in us.


Hear, hear!

Quote:

I will repost my call for volunteers when we gear up for March 2008, as I'm thrilled to see a burst of ideas and energy taking shape on this thread.


I hope I will able to contribute in some minor way. I'm a student and a job-seeker, so I already have some commitments.

Quote:

With growth (and growth meaning more venues wanting to get involved and new venues we are trying to develop outside of downtown) comes the need for re-evaluation. That means now, more than ever, we rely on this kind of feedback and dialogue to continue improving and developing the festival.


This is a crucial point. I assume you understand my original email was in order to provide my observations and assistance, not simply criticisms. BTW there are other groups out there who might want to get on board or touch base, such as DowntownJC.org, which makes it's own map. And there used to be a publication, JCDowntown I think, which had its own map as well. Rather than remake the wheel, they might have some method they use.

Or, more importantly, is there some way to support these businesses through this publication beyond the day in question. For example, in the JCDowntown publication, some folks got placed on the map with red dots b/c they advertised. Others got placed on the map with blue because they were being reviewed. Or something like that.

Both the maps and the publication were useful for a month or three, and may have included coupons or something until the next issue came out. So I guess in that sense the JCFriday would have to reconsider being several downtown events, but also give reference to the businesses' work beyond that day. In some sense that makes it an advertisement, so they may be willing to front more advertising costs. I don't know.

Actually, the ideas above feeds into my original question about the JC artists' community. What is it... where is it... what are they doing... What is the unifying force, if any? What needs to be done to keep it alive, well-fed, and energized? Is it groups? Twice-annual tours of 100 galleries? (the studio tour) Or quarterly tours of 25 galleries and events? (something like jc fridays). Coordination between the two ideas? Something else?

Posted on: 2008/12/9 19:56
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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FernPalm wrote:
I would love it if there were more events that stayed open later in the evening!! Maybe there is a good reason why they can't stay open later so I'll keep this short. But it is difficult for me to get home from work, eat dinner and make it to more than one venue. LITM is open late, but of course I can go there on any other evening. JC Fridays, we like you! Give us more places to visit after 9pm and we're there!


The folks from JCF responded, FIY.

Posted on: 2008/12/9 19:23
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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PBW wrote:
I think while listing by time would help me; I am always rescanning the venues. Also sometimes it's frustrating when you go to a place and it's just a restaurant that changed it artwork on the wall, and everyone's eating and it looks like a regular night there. I am also one of the people who start late and would like to see more night events, but that's not everyone.

That being said, Christine does a great job and should be commended for all the effort she does. There's bound to be growing pains and you can't please everyone. I'm glad it exists and if the venue listing isn't in an order I like I can live with it.

I'd also suggest writing Art House Productions with suggestions. They seem like the type to take feedback well.


I think you're right. She responded to by email and to this thread, and seems to agree about the hard work and the growing pains.

My original comment was about the arts community, and the JC Fridays bit was just an example, I guess, of how I am trying to provide useful feedback to "get involved" rather than to just wonder aloud to myself. On the same day, I wrote to WFMU about a different matter and got a message back as well.

I guess the message is that polite suggestion can have an impact on an open-minded person. Unless that person has been elected!

Posted on: 2008/12/9 19:04
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Re: on JC artists community and "JC Fridays" for example.
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Kindelan wrote:
Interesting ideas. I am in no way affiliated with JCFridays. You seem to care about this, why not get involved? You could consult or help organize. Or be chairman of the pamphlet committee or whatever.


I'm actually more intersted in the first part of the thread: the health of the arts community. The people, the market, the member groups, the institutions, the politicos, etc.

I'm a student, so it's all about time commitment and skill set. Pamphlet cmte is not something I would do, but an email with lots of observations and suggests? I could. You can see on this thread that the folks from JC Fridays responded.

Posted on: 2008/12/9 18:57
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Hello all!

Christine here, thanking everyone for their feedback on our JC Fridays festival. JC Fridays, as with all of Art House Productions' programs, is a labor of love and a volunteer-run event, and I thank you for taking the time to swing by a venue or two (or three or four!). The idea of JC Fridays was created by a group of Jersey City artists, organizations, and business owners who were interested in working together to promote the arts in Jersey City. It is wonderful to see it grow and develop into something we can look forward to each season.

In 3 1/2 years, JC Fridays has quadrupled in size, but not in person-power. This kind of growth nearly killed the festival a year ago, because Art House just couldn't handle it with all our other programs (not to mention our day jobs). But we pulled through when community members stepped up and helped out. I thank them sincerely for believing in us.

With growth (and growth meaning more venues wanting to get involved and new venues we are trying to develop outside of downtown) comes the need for re-evaluation. That means now, more than ever, we rely on this kind of feedback and dialogue to continue improving and developing the festival. After every event we ask our venues to fill out detailed surveys on how it went from them. Additionally, every venue has a stack of feedback cards so that you can tell us yourself what worked/didn't. When people suggested a map a while back, we took that to heart and made it happen. This neighborhood categorization idea is great (first I've ever heard the suggestion, so I'm glad I got the email as well as this JC List post) and I will look into how we can make the brochure and posters easier to read. I agree that needs to be looked at, too.

I will repost my call for volunteers when we gear up for March 2008, as I'm thrilled to see a burst of ideas and energy taking shape on this thread.

Finally: Any venue you walk into on a tour like this -- be it a restaurant, or a gallery, or a club -- may resonate with you and it may not. And that's OK. You are out supporting art in your community, and that's worth its weight in gold! Bravo!

Christine Goodman
Executive Director, Art House Productions

To volunteer for Art House Productions and/or our JC Fridays program, please email: info *at* arthouseproductions.org or info *at* jcfridays.com (it all goes to the same place). Feedback may be addressed to the same.

Posted on: 2008/12/8 4:46
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I think while listing by time would help me; I am always rescanning the venues. Also sometimes it's frustrating when you go to a place and it's just a restaurant that changed it artwork on the wall, and everyone's eating and it looks like a regular night there. I am also one of the people who start late and would like to see more night events, but that's not everyone.

That being said, Christine does a great job and should be commended for all the effort she does. There's bound to be growing pains and you can't please everyone. I'm glad it exists and if the venue listing isn't in an order I like I can live with it.

I'd also suggest writing Art House Productions with suggestions. They seem like the type to take feedback well.

Posted on: 2008/12/7 15:42
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I whole heartedly agree with both the OP and FernPalm.

When I first moved to Jersey City, not knowing anything about it or anyone, I used JC Friday as a way to get to know my new home. Since many of the events ended early, I actually left work early, studied the map, and planned a route that would cover a large portion of downtown. Imagine my surprise, when I walked into "venues" whose primary purpose wasn't showing art. I ended up walking into restaurants when I wasn't hungry, shops when I wasn't interested in purchasing, and the occasional gallery.

So my wish list for JC Fridays:
1. List the type of venue on the schedule, whether it is American Bistro, vintage clothing store, or art gallery.

2. Have more venues open from 9pm to midnight. Too often, I'm trying to cram in as many events as possible between 8 and 9 pm and then after 9pm there are only 2 or 3 things going on.

3. Have the numbers on the map coincide with an area. For example. 1-5 are in Paulus Hook, 6-10 Hamilton park, etc.

I think the above would help people make a better use of their night and plan their route in a more organized fashion.

Posted on: 2008/12/6 21:06
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I would love it if there were more events that stayed open later in the evening!! Maybe there is a good reason why they can't stay open later so I'll keep this short. But it is difficult for me to get home from work, eat dinner and make it to more than one venue. LITM is open late, but of course I can go there on any other evening. JC Fridays, we like you! Give us more places to visit after 9pm and we're there!

Posted on: 2008/12/6 20:05
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Interesting ideas. I am in no way affiliated with JCFridays. You seem to care about this, why not get involved? You could consult or help organize. Or be chairman of the pamphlet committee or whatever.

Posted on: 2008/12/5 18:24
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I recently wrote the email below to the people at JC Fridays. Rather than respond to their advertising post, I am making my own here because the content is different. In short, you could say I'm dissatisfied and underwhelmed by my experiences with the JC artist's community in the past few years. I am not ALWAYS or WHOLLY dissatisfied, but I am often left wanting more. I'm sure there are many reasons for this.

Some if the dissatisfaction, as with the email below, is about the planning and marketing and execution. Some is with the content or endeavors, and some is with the professionalism. I hope I can be educated otherwise, but I'm curiously ignorant of the "health" of the JC artists community and institutions, funding, and priorities.

For example, is Art House Productions a smart and capable newcomer, or is it a hulking dinosaur? Don't ask me. Who is Pro Arts, and what have they done for me lately? I have no idea. And is Rock Soup fulfilling it's approach? Maybe, but I don't know. And why is Waterbug or Toy Eaters or Babyhole or back-to-Waterbug about? And will Victory Hall ever return? They tried to reincorporate on Brunswick Street for a second. We've seen a few other galleries pop open and close back up again.

I'm not an artist, or in the community. Can I get some feedback from people who know better?
Thoughts? What does this community need to grow and thrive more than it is? Expand? Collapse? Trim the fat? Kill the institutions and start a new, single, unified endeavor?

And if you disagree with my impression, that's cool.

Side note: I wholly support Rascals as a live music venue.

Side note: The so-called "Artists Lofts" might not be the answer, but maybe they are. But what the market demands - and why I, a non-artist, should be excluded or relegated to a second-tier applicant - is confusing and unclear. Is PADNA just another now-fleeting distraction?

---------------------

Hi,

Having lived in JC for several years, I am familiar with and anticipate the quarterly JC Fridays events. But I have been thinking a few things abt JC Fridays for several years, and I thought I would pass my feedback along to you. I provide the feedback below because I appreciate the work of JC Fridays, and would like at least a few aspects to improve for the benefit of the city and the arts community.

For one, I find and have always found the pamphlet to be difficult to read and the map difficult to use. For the events, the listing is too busy and confusing, with so many events listed equally, though they are clearly not equal. Many of them are just restaurants, cafes, or stores that are showing some art on the wall during their normal business hours, and are not gallery openings or special events. So, for example, if searching for an opening or an actual "event," it's rather difficult to filter to determine which, if any, are new and noteworthy. Perhaps being relegated to a category called "on-going events" or "just a restaurant, not an opening"
would discourage such passive openings. Or, if nothing else, clarifies for the pamphlet-user where the real action is.

Second, the list needs to be set into different categories. I recognize you're trying to preserve the four-fold event key and color scheme (visual/ film/ performance/ music), but I'm wonder if those should become subheadings themselves, rather than "dots" indicating the type of the event. Or maybe, just simplify the categories b/c the largest portion is visual. Or eliminate the dot categories and include only in the description of the event.

Or, I would recommend establishing subcategories for the start and end times in a more simplistic way. For example, day-long; afternoon (12-5); evening (5-8); and late night (8-12). I assume that right now the times are determined by the gallery owner, and listed in order by start time. That's fine, but it's beholden to the start times and business hours of the gallery or restaurant. The impression, though, is that the listings all run together and it's hard to pick from so many listings which vary only slightly. By forcing each event into a specific start-time, end-time, or time-frame you would give a better sense of what's going on, and when.

Or, you could categorize by neighborhood: Grove PATH and Newark Avenue; "Harsimus Cove"; The Village; Hamilton; Van Vorst; The Heights; Newport; Exchange; etc. I see that you try to do this by cross-referencing the listings to the map, so the numbers reflect the order of the start times, where 9a-9pm is [1] and 10pm-12m is [36]. The current [numbering] system is only useful insofar as a person can use and first uses the map on the reverse, or if they look in their neighborhood for a local event and look back for the refering [number]. If I did not know where Iron Monkey [36] is on Greene Street, I'd have to flip back and forth from the listings to the map and try to find it because it does not tell me what neighborhood to look for. Or, if I was looking in Exchange Place, I'd see events at [4], [12], [27], and [36] and would have to jump all around the listing to determine which events were in my neighborhood. That may be fine for folks in Exchange Place, but I live in The Village, so the many events around Newark Avenue and downtown generally become an indecipherable array of events through the day, but I'm never sure when or where or which.

I don't know which of these is the better method, but at present I feel the listings is a long, indecipherable mass of information without the necessary filters: neighborhood or timeframe, for example, to help guide my choice and make me want to use the map... and thus, go to an event. The pamphlet gives me a whole bunch of event types and start times and cross-references to a map without filtering and simplifying the way to read this information. I don't know what the relevant frame for my comments is: maybe "less is more" or "keep it simple" or "this is way too busy."

Lastly, there's no headlining or launch event. I would recommend that you try to set one up for for the event three months from now. Grove PATH might be the best forum for the event. Or maybe a launch event once each year at Majestic, LITM, Skinners, and Barrow. Or whomever. Or maybe even a JC Fridays bar crawl... with discounts for map-holders, to attend the all four bars. There's plenty of talent in this town to put together such a "launch" or "party" together.

As to the map, it is slightly better that today's events reserve the full interior for a single map, so it's full-size. Members of my family have been in Hudson County for 50yrs, I've been coming to/thru JC for more than ten, and have lived here for more than three and a half. So, I should not have any problem reading the map... but I do. In addition to what I said above... the color scheme simply makes it hard to read. Orange text on a blue-black background... I'm not an artist, but I think that's a busy, distracting use of contrasting colors.

Again, I provide this feedback because I believe JC Fridays has great potential, but that this pamphlet falls short in its attempt. My thoughts above might even apply to JC gallery tour. I don't remember their maps etc. I hope you will honestly consider a redesign and rebranding of this quarterly series of events.

I welcome your feedback.

Posted on: 2008/12/5 17:14
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