By Sally Deering Hoboken’s been doing it for years; Jersey City does it, too; and now, Bayonne has joined the ranks of local towns holding their very own arts & music festivals. Where artists go, others follow, Joe Waks, a professional artist and member of the Art Circle of Bayonne says. More and more artists are planting roots in Bayonne.
To celebrate that trend, Mayor Mark Smith and his administration are sponsoring Bayonne’s first-ever Arts & Music Festival on Fri, June 14, from 6 pm to 11 pm. Sixty artists from the Art Circle of Bayonne, a collective of painters, photographers, sculptors and other artists will exhibit their works inside the Bayonne Community Museum on Broadway between 9th and 10th Streets. Artists will also give free painting and drawing demonstrations outside the museum.
“The Art Circle of Bayonne is an organization that came about organically,” Waks says. “Our first exhibit was at the Bayonne Community Museum in March 2012. The city sponsored the exhibit and everyone found out that there are a lot of people who do art in Bayonne. There’s a lot of enthusiasm, too, a hunger by artists who want to show. An amazing number of people came to that show in March and we’ve had several more shows since then.”
Artists participating include Patty Mulligan, Bill Zblyut, Dina Six, Raymond Greaves, Ellen Greaves, Caryn La Greca, Fernando Fernandez, Kevin Delaney, Gerald Glover, Joan Rosen, Tom Hart and George Weir.The festival will feature music by the Bayonne High School Jazz Band and the Ziggy Christie Band and several vendors will be selling refreshments including the 8th Street Broadway Diner and Bistro, R&B’s, Sarelli’s, and Tony’s Pizzeria.
“We have a captive audience here,” Waks says of the festival’s 9th Street location. “There are great places to eat and drink here on 9th and 10th Streets on Broadway.”
The new Bayonne Music & Art Festival seems to be a great way to spend a Friday evening and a great new reason for the city to show off their artist community and use of a grand building. The Bayonne Community Museum was designed in the Beaux Arts style and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Used for special eventslike this, it’s a great place for the artists to exhibit, thanks to some forward-thinking by Mayor Smith. Waks says: “Mayor Smith had the vision: ‘We have this beautiful building let’s use it’.”
If you go:
Fri, June 14, 6-11 pm
First Annual Bayonne Arts and Music Festival
Bayonne Community Museum
229 Broadway (between 9th & 10th Streets)
(One block from the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail’s 8th Street Station; Raindate, Sat, June 15, 6-11 pm) Art Exhibit will also be open to the public: Sat, June 15, 6-10 pm; Mon, June 17- Fri, June 21, 5-7 pm; for more info: (201) 858-6033
Free Admission to the Museum