Four Days of Exhibitions and Festivities Will Represent Works of 1,000 Local Artists
The Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs will launch the 32nd annual Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (known as JCAST) Thursday, Sept. 15 followed by three consecutive days of exhibits, performances, tours, artist demonstrations, and kids’ events.
One thousand local artists (all those who wish to participate) will be showing, an increase of 25 percent over last year and the largest number in JCAST’s history. The tour, which is produced by city’s Office of Cultural Affairs and is being “presented” by Bank of America, comprises 140 locations throughout Jersey City.
“We’ve created an interactive experience like no other that spans all areas of Jersey City and offers guided tours that are free and open to the public,” said Christine Goodman, director of Cultural Affairs. Goodman specifically encouraged attendees to take advantage of the free bike and walking tours that will be offered on October 1 and 2. Mayor Fulop characterized JCAST as “the region’s premier arts and cultural event.”
For the first time in the event’s history, artists living in the city’s Greenville neighborhood will offer a dedicated tour of their work. The experience, which was put together by a newly formed group called “Greenville Artist Crossroads,” will also showcase many of the small businesses and neighborhood organizations in the area. Planners sought to give visitors not just an art tour but an opportunity “to explore the positive characteristics of the community that do not often get talked about in news stories,” according to GAC co-founder Elizabeth Deegan.
Added Deegan’s counterpart, artist Melida Rodas, “It is where our not so polished streets, our bitter / sweet stories meander and intersect … where you may not often visit but are invited to crossover into, slow down – look around – stay a while. It is where you are a part of us and we are a part of you – sharing the same fundamental wishes, same dreams, to love and be loved, to see and be seen.”
This year’s JCAST will also feature a live outdoor mural painting project. The design will be painted and stenciled along a stretch of St. Paul’s Avenue just off Route 139 with the help of professional artists. Intended to “clean, beautify, and enliven” the area, the project will take place Saturday, Oct. 1, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 2, from noon to 5 p.m.
Mayor Fulop will kick off JCAST 2022 at a reception that is free and open to the public on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. at multiple spots in and around Canco Park. Visitors can park at Mana Contemporary located at 888 Newark Ave. Complimentary bike parking on Dey Street will be provided by Bike JC.
Those who wish to plan their trip ahead may wish to preview participating artists’ profiles, which are sortable by medium, on JCAST’s website. This year’s bus tours (which must be registered for ahead of time) include a mural tour, an LGBTQ+ tour, a Heights tour, a tour highlighting works by Hispanic artists, and, as previously mentioned, a Greenville tour.
Consistent with years past, JCAST 2022 will feature food trucks, live DJs, and artwork for sale. All of this year’s exhibit locations can be viewed on the event’s handy map.
For questions about a specific venue’s Covid-19 guidelines, please contact that venue directly.
JCAST 2022 is presented by Bank of America with support from Goldman Sachs, the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, GFP Real Estate, and the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.
Said Goodman, the budget for the event this year was approximately $50,000, 60 percent of which was covered by sponsors and a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.
Photo by Steve Johnson