SHOW AND TELL
By Sally Deering
A 10-foot map of the U.S. made of souvenir plates from all 50 states; candy-colored 1960s-inspired pop art paintings; spray painted murals; all this and more goes on exhibit this weekend at the Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour.
The Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour is a free, self-guided walking tour of artists’ studios, galleries and group exhibitions that begins Fri, Nov. 7 and runs through Sun, Nov. 9, with more than 100 local artists participating. City Hall, Monroe Street Arts Center, Hoboken Historical Museum and Maxwell’s bar and restaurant are some of the 24 venues where artists will be exhibiting their work. Many will share their process; others will share interesting conversations; it’s all what makes this yearly event so interesting. (Jersey City had their studio tour last week!)
An annual tradition in Hoboken (Jersey City had its studio tour last week), the Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour covers the entire mile-square waterfront city. It offers artists the opportunity to show and sell their work,, and visitors the chance to visit the artists’ studios, public art spaces and even restaurants to see work by artists who help make the place hip.
HOME PLATE MOSAIC AT SCHNACKIE’S – YOWZA!
Joyce Flinn, co-owner of the lovingly restored Schnackenberg’s Luncheonette (with her husband Eugene) on Washington Street in Hoboken, created a 10 foot-by-6-foot map of the U.S. using souvenir plates collected from all 50 states. The piece can be viewed over a jelly doughnut from one of the cozy booths or an Egg Cream from a spinning stool at the soda fountain.
Flinn got the idea from something she did at her restaurant Amanda’s, just a block down on Washington. At Amanda’s, sometimes she would put down an old souvenir plate as a conversation starter for a couple on a date. When plates broke, Flinn saved the pieces. When she saw a map of the U.S. made from old license plates, she got inspired; the mosaic took 1-1/2 years to complete.
“Collecting the plates took longer than making the mosaic itself,” Flinn says. “A few dedicated family members and friends went to garage sales and thrift shops over the span of five or so years. The goal was to keep the price of each plate purchase to $3 or less. No antique stores or ebay, except for the last elusive state North Dakota which doesn’t seem to have too much in the way of tourist destinations.”
“Home Plate” weighs more than 500 pounds, and if possible, plates are positioned in the spot of the view depicted. New Jersey features a NJ Turnpike plate, the Seal of the State of New Jersey, cranberries (for the bogs in South Jersey) and the Jersey Shore. Flinn placed a Holland American tile (for the Holland American ships that came to port in the Hudson River) to reflect the difficulty of the immigrants who came through Ellis Island, including her grandfather, whose picture also hangs in Schnackie’s.
BE LIKE SINATRA; DO IT YOUR WAY
The Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour is a freestyle experience; just pick up a map at Hoboken’s City Hall (94 Washington Street) and start walking. Since Hoboken is only a mile-square, it’s a great way to get to know the neighborhoods and the artists who live in Hoboken or close by. Jersey City resident Robert J. Piersanti is artist-in-residence at the Paul Vincent Gallery on Harrison Street (near Observer Highway). Originally from South River, Piersanti’s 1960s-inspired pop art portraits have been featured in art galleries and local art shows
“Hotrods, rock stars, space cadettes, mermaids and cowgirls, are visual symbols of my suburban 60s childhood,” Piersanti says. “Through my paintings I combine these pop culture themes and graphics with snapshots of striking people I meet. I scour flea markets and junk shops finding artifacts that rekindle my past visual fire.”
For the Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour, Piersanti, who paints acrylics on canvas, will feature new contemporary portraits and pop culture-inspired images, he says, and the show will include rarely-shown drawings and prints, and a new mini-series of paintings on skateboards and wooden boxes.
PAINTING WITH GLASS, FROM SENEGAL WITH LOVE
One of the stops on the Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour is 235 Garden Street where artist Ibou Ndoye will exhibit samples of his work in mixed-media. A glass painting artist, Ndoye grew up as the oldest of four boys in the suburbs of Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. His mother worked as a dressmaker and his grandmother, a tie-dye artist. Surrounded by colorful African textiles and fabrics, Ndoye says he grew up “socializing with art and cohabitating with colors” from a very young age.
In the 1980s, Ndoye began his career as a painter in Senegal during a period called the “Set Setal,” or clean-up movement which encouraged artists to embellish the environment by expressing themselves through murals on building facades. After that, Ndoye’s interests changed to glass painting, a tradition brought from the Middle East to Senegal more than a hundred years before.
ART BEYOND THE BAR & RESTAURANT
More than 100 artists will be participating in this year’s Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour. That’s a lot of creative energy busting out of Hoboken which, like Jersey City and other towns in Hudson, seems to have more bars & restaurants than art galleries. To fill that gap, the annual studio tour offers artists the opportunity to show their work, and gives visitors the opportunity to see local artists creating work that goes beyond the bar.
If you go:
Fri, Nov. 7 through Sun, Nov. 9, noon to 6 pm
Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour
City of Hoboken
Free Tour Map at City Hall
94 Washington St (First & Newark)
(Three blocks from PATH, NY Waterway ferries and Hudson-Bergen Light Rai)
(Check the Studio Tour Map for exact times and locals of artists’ exhibits.)