There are a ton of events going on for this first summer installment of JC Fridays, and I've weeded through the listings to bring you my top art picks (in no way comprehensive); notes on why I selected these shows follow each entry. It's probably not possible to see all of this amended list in one night (unless you have superhuman art-viewing powers), but keep in mind that a lot of these shows/pieces will be on view at their respective locations through the end of the month: don't despair if you miss something tomorrow.
Presented by relative location (from JC Friday's brochure):
5pm-6:30pm ART HOUSE PRODUCTIONS and COSI CAFÉ AND RESTAURANT present an Opening Reception for Hoboken artist Marni Fylling. Fylling combines her love of the natural world, art, and sometimes food, in colorful block prints. Curated by Emily Helck. 1 Exchange Place (directly across from the Light Rail stop), (201) 451-0535. Barrier-free. Map
Why: because Marni is a wonderful scientific illustrator and I've never seen any of her print-work; it will be interesting to see how the two mediums compare
6pm-8pm JERSEY CITY MUSEUM at THE MAJESTIC THEATRE CONDOMINIUMS invites you to an Opening Reception for “Fluid,” a painting installation by Marti Lawrence. The exhibition will be on view by appointment at The Majestic Theatre Condominiums through August 30, 2009. Refreshments will be served. The Majestic Theatre Condominiums, 222 Montgomery St (Grove/Barrow Sts), 201-413-0303 ext. 144. Barrier-free. Map
Why: because I want to know what this "painting installation" looks like--and hopefully see Marti's artist statement
7pm-11pm 58 GALLERY presents an Opening Reception for “United Saints of Oil,” new works by Dylan Egon, documenting the new religion of American pop culture in the traditional art of oil painting. Our new icons...true, or false. Live performance by Flaming Fire at 10 pm. DJ Street Justice all night. 58 Coles St (3rd/4th Sts), 917-349-1693. Map
Why: because 58 is probably where you'll see the most artists and JC arts aficionados in one place. Pop icons may not be your thing, but the process of cannonization can say some powerful things about the values of hip contemporary folk; maybe this show will be revealing.
7pm-10pm ATELIER PRODUCTION presents an Opening Reception for “at:muss:feer,” a multi-media exhibition. Paintings are acrylic on canvas and appear as “collisions of color,” bright & bold with no representations to religion, politics, or nudity. Wooden sculpture exults intriguing cuts & fits the space as if made specifically for it. Mixed-media works seemingly ask the viewer, without words, to consider recycling. After party hosted by Ox Restaurant. The Wells Fargo Building, 299 Pavonia Ave, Loft 2-9 (Coles/Monmouth Sts), 551-226-3632. Map
Why: because I honestly have no idea what that paragraph just said.
11am-10pm SAWADEE THAI CUISINE presents “The Final Frontier: Photographs by Edward Fausty,” April 10 – June 6, 2009. Come explore the artwork in Sawadee’s dining room and enjoy their exciting Thai menu. 137 Newark Ave (Grove/Barrow Sts), 201-433-0888. Barrier-free. Map
Why: because I've seen this already and, aside from presenting excellent group of photographs, Ed worked with Sawadee to change the lighting and layout specifically for these pieces (yes!). An example of what a restaurant show can become if artists and owners are willing to work together.
7pm-9pm FISH WITH BRAIDS GALLERY presents an Opening Reception for “Animal Pharm” by Lee Johnson. Animal Pharm: An exploration of pharmacotherapeutics and modern medicine as it impacts the environment, humanity, and society. Are all equal, or are some more equal than others? June 4th – June 18th, 2009 (Opening reception June 4th and 5th, 7-9pm both days). 521 Jersey Ave (Columbus Ave/Newark Ave), 201-451-4294. Map
Why: because this is a show topic I haven't seen very often and I want to hear more about the political and artistic inspirations for this body of work; I hope the conceptual element here is as instinctively engaging as the physical aesthetic of the pieces themselves.
5pm-8pm D.E.E.N. DESIGNER BOUTIQUE and 140 GALLERY present “Powerhouse Arts District Local Artist Displays.” Join us for a demonstration of the best local artist of the Powerhouse Arts District. You will enjoy amazing art, wine & cheese, and live music (local DJ). Stop by between 5-8 and you might get a chance to meet some artists. 140 Bay St (Provost/Warren Sts), 908-296-7679. Barrier-free. Map
Why: because I want to see who has the guts to call him/herself the "best local artist" in the PAD
7pm-11pm THE J.A. PROJECT GALLERY invites you to their Grand Opening event, located in the heart of downtown Jersey City. Complimentary wine all night. Music provided by DJ Unkle Chips. Launched with the idea to showcase artwork of superlative quality by up and coming artists. We are dedicated to introducing and promoting diverse artists looking to express their voice through various mediums of contemporary art. 341 Marin Blvd (Morgan St/Bay St), 973-981-5991. Map
Why: because this is a new gallery, they've launched a website, and I'm thrilled to learn more about them and see what they're about.
11am-8pm JERSEY CITY MUSEUM invites you to enjoy free museum admission with extended gallery hours. 6pm: A special evening featuring “Investigations of Place,” curated by Natalie McKeever and featuring short videos that use experimental imagery to explore how personal narratives are imprinted on landscapes. Short films shown on rotation, ambient music performed by Jeff Thompson and Matt Ortega in the atrium throughout the evening. Refreshments will be served. 350 Montgomery St (@ Monmouth St), 201-413-0303 ext.144. Barrier-free. Map
Why: because I'll be speaking to the curator for a feature article about the show later in the evening, and the concept could produce some different types of work. Not exactly sure what to expect.
6pm-7:30pm LILA STUDIO invites you to a Figurative Drawing Session. Please bring your own materials (bringing a drawing board is recommended). No photography allowed. Live music at The Barrow Mansion hosted by The Attic Ensemble will follow this event. The Barrow Mansion, 83 Wayne St (Barrow St/Jersey Ave), email@example.com. Map
Why: free figure drawing? Sounds great!