When picturing Hoboken, many things come to mind: excellent nightlife, great food, fun bars, and a wonderful view of the city. What often goes unnoticed is the wealth of art all around us. Ten Hoboken galleries plan to expand your view with their monthly Sunday Gallery Walk.
Geri Fallo, Hoboken’s director of Cultural Affairs, says the idea stemmed from the fact that multiple galleries around Hoboken were opening up.
“It’s sort of unusual for Hoboken to have such a substantial number of art galleries, and they really won’t survive unless there is some support,” Geri said. “As I noticed the increasing number of galleries around the city, I decided to get the gallery owners together and the sparks were flying instantly. The conversation really proved that great minds think alike, and hence, the gallery walk was born.”
The gallery walk, which began on April 15th, will run through December 16th on the third Sunday of each month. The ten galleries on the walk consist of both uptown and downtown stops as well as exhibits by local, regional, and international artists.
Among the participating galleries are BAMA Gallery, Lana Santorelli Gallery, Tresorie Framing/Gallery, Right Angle Framing/Gallery, and Barsky Gallery. On the April 15th and May 20th walks, Bess Sobota of Lana Santorelli Gallery offered a guided tour.
In June, there will be no guided tour; attendees are invited to create their own tour.
Each gallery has something special to offer. Lana Santorelli Gallery located on Washington Street will be showcasing the exhibit “Rhythm and Movement,” featuring artists such as Diana Jean Puglisi, Erik Sheets, and Lana Santorelli.
As explained by Diana, “Rhythm and Movement merges music, dance, and visual art. My paintings merge the ideas. I sporadically place color and form with intention to create a visual dance through visual rhythm and movement. I consider my work improvisational like Jazz. The patterns create harmony, the colors become the melody, and the background is like a time signature setting a stage for form.”
Similarly, Erik explains that his work fits into Lana Santorelli Gallery’s theme of “Rhythm and Movement,” as all of his works feature dancers as the subject matter and all contain movement. Erik, who uses a combination of maps and anatomy books to create his masterpieces, says that, “it is interesting to juxtapose my style of art with what exists on the page and have the two coexist as one final piece. It becomes interesting to look at; it’s like chewing gum for the eyes.”
While Bess feels Hoboken is already a very involved community, she feels the walk is a “great opportunity to engage with more people around art in a warm and welcoming place, it’s an effort to open dialogue about art and have a conversation.”
Diana Jean Puglisi says that this art walk will “peak the interest of those who would not ordinarily walk into a gallery through artists’ talks, music, and events.” Diana explained that events like these in the city are incredibly important and will help to pull in both artsy and non-artsy people.
Chris Burkhardt at BAMA located on Bloomfield Street feels the walk is a great way to “get people who wouldn’t normally visit a gallery to come in.” For the first time ever, Chris feels the city of Hoboken is coming together around art. “Hoboken is a city full of people and a culture that work all week to be able to spend time somewhere else during the summer months.” However, this summer, with the help of the walk, “everyone is coming together and communicating through the arts. It’s a conversation of several different agendas and personalities coming together under one umbrella.” Chris, who describes his gallery as an “art hearth,” features the works of Nat Bard, Lou Carbone, Craig Cartwright, and Mark Davis, as well as works Chris has created himself.
Heba Elbanna, Owner and Head Designer at Tresorie Custom Framing and French Mats asks all participants of the walk to “bring their funny with them,” when they visit her stop on the walk. “If you’re not enjoying life, you can’t enjoy art. So, I always tell my customers to bring their art AND their funny.”
Tresorie, which is currently featuring the art of local artists Ricardo Roig and Doug Auld is more than the normal frame shop.
“Funky goes out of style, but elegance lasts forever,” says Heba. “I don’t just offer expensive frames, I do my best to bring their elegance out. My framing gallery is like the recipe to the huge piece of the chunky, creamy piece of cake that you really, really, enjoy,” Heba smiled.
Pablo Godoy, owner of Right Angle Gallery/Framing (which has two locations, one uptown one downtown) views the 3rd Sunday’s gallery walk as a way to promote local artwork in town. According to Pablo, he only exhibits the work of local artists in his home, and the same is mostly true of his gallery.
“When purchasing art, I don’t care what the person’s name is or where they are from. I’d much rather have a local artist who speaks to me, rather than a popular person I cannot relate to,” said Pablo.
Currently, Right Angle’s uptown gallery is featuring the work of Seth Ruggles Hiler, while the downtown location is featuring Chris Meyers. A recent exhibit at the uptown location featured the work of local renowned photographer Robert Wagner. Wagner is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in several publications, including hMAG. According to Pablo, Wagner will always be a part of Right Angle’s displays.
Al Barsky, owner of Barsky Gallery located on Harrison Street is currently featuring the works of several international and local artists. “Right now the gallery is home to about ten different artists, some from Italy, some from Russia, some from South Africa, as well as a few local artists,” he said. Al described his space on Hudson Street as extremely unique and personal. “It’s a very old warehouse that I re-did and lit myself. It’s not just a white box with a black ceiling, it’s a great place,” he said. While Al feels that gallery success is measured by the amount of work sold, he expressed happiness over the fact that people are really starting to get out and examine art. “My gallery drew a large crowd on the second walk, it was really a great success.”
“We sure hope the gallery walk will promote art awareness around the city, ” said Geri. In addition to promoting art awareness around the city, Geri hopes that the gallery walk will also promote the notion that Hoboken is a walkable city. As the walk progresses, the city of Hoboken is working on getting way-finding signs. “We hope these signs will help people realize that the next stop is not really that far,” she said.
While Lana Santorelli, BAMA, Tresorie, Right Angle, and Barsky are only four of the ten galleries on the 3rd Sunday’s monthly gallery walk, all ten offer something special to admire while taking in all of Hoboken on foot. Other galleries participating in the series include: the Hoboken Historic Museum, hob’art at the Monroe Center, Gallery 1200, PVS Gallery, among others. For more information, visit: www.hobokennj.org