Category Archives: Art Views

Hudson County Community College Foundation Art Collection Celebrates the Incredible Works of African American Artists  

The Foundation Art Collection is proud to honor the works of African American artists during Black History Month

Willie Cole’s 1999 work, “Man, Spirit, Mask,” is displayed prominently in HCCC’s Gabert Library.

February 9, 2024, Jersey City, NJ – With Black History Month upon us, it’s a good time to reflect on and celebrate the rich and diverse contributions and experiences of African and African American artists. The Hudson County Community College Foundation Art Collection is proud to feature an extensive collection of works by African and African American artists and works depicting the African American experience and story.

The Foundation Art Collection is home to over 90 permanently installed works by African American artists and artworks exploring the impact of the African diaspora. Many of these are world-renowned artists, some of whom are from or live in New Jersey, like Willie Cole, Faith Ringgold, and more. 

Some of the works in the Collection are challenging to look at, serving as a stark reminder of the severe hardships and grave injustices that Africans and African Americans have endured. But the Collection also pays homage to the resilience and spirit of the people who collectively struggled against injustice and celebrates the triumph of overcoming adversity. In many ways, the works in the Collection embody famed African American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou’s words, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. It may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

One group of works that captures the poetry of this struggle is the Collection’s many portraits of renowned Caribbean artist Bob Blackburn by differing artists including Will Barnett, Paul John, Rie Hasagawa, Denise Kasof, Justin Sands, and Bruce Waldman. Born in Summit, New Jersey to Jamaican immigrant parents, Blackburn grew up in Harlem and became an accomplished artist. Frustrated that segregated printshops of the day wouldn’t let him work there, Blackburn took matters into his own hands and created his printshop in 1947 so that people of color and women (who were also excluded from printmaking workshops) had a place to work and create. Today, over 75 years later, the EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop (EFA RBPMW) is the nation’s oldest and longest-running community print shop.

The Foundation Art Collection is home to three works by Willie Cole, a world-renowned sculptor and New Jersey native. Cole is perhaps best known for transforming unassuming, everyday household items like bicycle parts, high-heeled shoes, and even discarded appliances into striking sculptures. He also creates art inspired by African masks, and his 1999 limited-edition print triptych, Man Spirit Mask, is prominently displayed in Gabert Library. Beyond HCCC, Cole’s art is found at prestigious museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Newark Museum.

The Collection also features two works by Faith Ringgold, who was born in Harlem and later moved to Englewood, New Jersey. As a child, Ringgold suffered from chronic asthma and was thus drawn to art as a hobby at an early age. Ringgold is known for her paintings, sculptures, mixed media, and, perhaps most of all, her narrative quilts like The American Collection and The French Collection. The Foundation Art Collection is home to the digital print with hand lithography, Coming to Jones Road, Under a Blood Red Sky, which explores the relationship between African Americans’ experience of escaping slavery by the Underground Railroad during the Civil War and Ringgold’s move from Harlem, where she was treated with dignity and respect, to her new home in Englewood, where she encountered racism and hostility. Meanwhile, a serigraph of Here Come Moses tells the story of the hopes and dreams of another formerly enslaved person as he fled northward by the underground railroad African Americans followed to freedom during slavery. Ringgold’s art can be seen in high-profile museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum.

Other accomplished African American artists featured in the Collection include Gordon Parks, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Carmen Cartiness Johnson, Mickalene Thomas, and Chakaia Booker. The Collection also features art from HCCC’s own African American art students, right alongside the works of world-renowned artists. Notably, recent donations have brought to the Collection of sculptures from ancient Egypt, Kenya, and Ethiopia.  

Furthermore, the Collection features many inspiring photographs of iconic moments of the civil rights movement, such as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at the National Mall and the iconic photo of Olympic athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in the Black Power salute during the medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics.  The Collection’s curator, Andrea Siegel, Ph.D., explains, “The gravity of these iconic, historic moments can seem intimidating to students, but seeing these smaller photographs up close in person makes it a more manageable experience that they can take something from.”

Beyond celebrating the lives and work of African and African American artists, another primary goal of the Collection is to awaken a newfound appreciation and curiosity about African American art. Siegel says, “We want to instill and reinforce a sense of pride in the community. When the Collection can show someone something new about their heritage they didn’t know about or inspire a new passion, it has done its job.”

HCCC serves Hudson, one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Its Journal Square campus in Jersey City is located in the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the United States, while its North Hudson Campus in Union City is home to a richly diverse community of the Hispanic diaspora.  HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber says, “We are honored to serve one of the most diverse communities in the United States, and our Foundation Art Collection is a true reflection of this diversity.”

Additionally, the Foundation Art Collection supports HCCC students, many of whom are first-generation college students from traditionally underserved communities. Seeing fine art firsthand inspires empathy, ignites curiosity, and gives students newfound cultural capital. Siegel states that, ultimately, “The Foundation Art Collection reflects to our community all its diverse beauty.”

Unlike some college collections, the Foundation Art Collection isn’t under lock and key, out of reach of the public. Under Dr. Andrea Siegel’s leadership, the entire HCCC campus has blossomed into a living art museum, open to all members of the College and the wider community to experience and enjoy. Students see these pieces by renowned African and African American artists daily.

The Foundation Art Collection is proud to pay homage to the incredible contributions of African and African American artists during Black History Month and all year long. The Foundation Art Collection honors these amazing artists and works by being open to all, and HCCC is happy to give tours of the Collection.

If you’d like to arrange a tour of the Hudson County Community College Art Collection, please email Andrea Siegel at [email protected]

If you’re interested in checking the collection out online, visit

Fulop Administration Further Elevates Arts & Culture in Jersey City with Powerhouse Partnership to Create NJ’s Largest Visual Arts Event

First Annual Jersey City Art Week Announced for October 11-15

Beginning today applications are online

Jersey City 14c Art Event

Mayor Steven M. Fulop joins the Office of Cultural Affairs and Art Fair 14C Executive Director Robinson Holloway to announce the premier of Jersey City Art Week – a new partnership between Jersey City’s largest visual arts events.

The Jersey City Art and Studio Tour (JCAST) and Art Fair 14C are joining forces to host concurrent events in October, creating a super-sized visual arts experience that will showcase Jersey City’s vibrant arts and culture scene.  Jersey City Art Week will attract local, national, and international artists to Jersey City alongside fine art exhibitors.


Tonight the Powerhouse Arts District of Jersey City hosts the Art Crawl Downtown, with art exhibitions and open studios with unique opportunities for art lovers, as well as discounted food and beverages from our partners: The Canopy Bar & Bistro, Downtown Yogurt and Two Boots Pizza.


Jersey City ranked 48th out of the top 100 listings

Jersey City  has been named one of the 2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live by, outpacing more than 1,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 1 million in this data-driven ranking.The 2021 rankings were guided by an exclusive study conducted by in partnership with Ipsos. More than 1,000 adults aged 18 and up from across the country were surveyed to determine which livability characteristics they value in their future communities. Respondents were asked if they could work from anywhere, which factors would be most heavily considered when choosing to relocate and how housing needs and priorities have changed since the beginning of the pandemic. Since March 2020, more than 42% of the U.S. population has either moved or considered moving.This year, Livability partnered with Movoto by OJO to offer readers guidance for the next step in their journey – to determine the type of housing available in the ranked cities and at what price.“This year’s list is a testament to loving where you live, in a time where more of us than ever can live anywhere we want,” says Cara Sanders, managing editor. “These past two years have shown us how important it is that the places we live meet our needs and offer up affordability, opportunity and plenty of amenities. If we can work from anywhere, then these 100 cities are places you would want to live and make remote workers’ needs a top priority.”More than 1,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 1,000,000 were ranked on 50 data points measuring economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. The nine scores were weighted based on an exclusive survey conducted for by Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading global market research firm. Sources included the best public and private data available from organizations like the U.S. Census Bureau, Emsi and Esri.The full list of the 2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live is featured on, along with each city’s LivScore and some of the specific attractions, activities and amenities that make it a great place to live.

About highlights the best small to mid-sized cities and what makes them great places to live, work and visit. Through research and original content, we examine issues such as affordability, cultural amenities and talent attraction, and celebrate the accomplishments of these cities through top 10 lists, our annual ranking of the Top 100 Best Places to Live, and articles exploring the who, what, why and how behind the “where.” is a division of Journal Communications, Inc., based in Franklin, Tenn.

About Movoto by OJO:Movoto by OJO is the residential search site from the Austin, Texas-based proptech company OJO Labs. We help homebuyers, sellers, and owners jump-start their real estate journey, by meeting them where they are with the tools and assistance they need to move forward with knowledge and confidence. With personalized tools, expert guidance, tailored resources, and market insights, we support each person’s journey — from taking the first steps in home search to building long-term wealth as a homeowner. By paving the way to homeownership — and the pride, financial security, and generational wealth-building that comes with it — OJO helps unlock life’s possibilities.

art gala’s ‘big 3-0’

   JCs Cathedral Arts Festival to Host “Big 3-0” Gala, Sat, May 18

   Artists, Friends & Grace Church Community to Come Out & Celebrate

By Sally Deering

Gentrification Towers by Fermin Mendoza will be on view at CAF

It’s probably the hippest church in Hudson County: a congregation of people from all walks of life, where artists are not only welcomed, they’re celebrated.

On Sat, May 8, beginning at 7 pm, Grace Church Van Vorst on Erie Street in Jersey City will host its 30th Anniversary celebration of the CATHEDRAL ARTS FESTIVAL (CAF), a gala of friends and community members coming together to support the church’s outreach and regale in artworks by local artists. This year, five curators have put together an exhibition of eclectic art that will dazzle and inspire.  Beth Achenbach, Cat Hecht, Robinson Holloway, Andrea Morin and Amy Elise de Jong.

JCTC to Celebrate 12-Year Anniversary on June 26 – Honor Bill La Rosa Lifetime Achievement in Arts Award


  By Sally Deering

 Bill LaRosa

A life in art, that’s exactly what William La Rosa set out to do in his 30-year tenure as Director of the Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs. Before retiring in September 2017, La Rosa facilitated programs that helped local visual and performing artists. He founded the Local Arts Program (LAP) grants that, over the years, provided thousands of dollars to local artists and arts organizations.

Continue reading JCTC to Celebrate 12-Year Anniversary on June 26 – Honor Bill La Rosa Lifetime Achievement in Arts Award

Hoboken Art in the Park Registration Begins March 5th

Art in the Park is a 6 week creative arts program for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years old. There are eight 6-week sessions. Sessions take place on different days, in different parks, at different times.

Online Registration begins March 5, 2018

Choose either Pier A or Elysian Park
• Early Morning: 
9am to 10:30am or
• Mid-Morning: 11am to 12:30pm

Elysian Park, located at Hudson St. bet. 10th & 11th Sts.
Mondays: June 18, 25, July 9, 16, 23, 30
June 19, 26, July 10, 17, 24, 31
Thursdays: June 21, 28, July 12, 19, 26, Aug. 2

Pier A Park, located at 1st St. & Sinatra Drive
Wednesdays: June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, Aug. 1

Cost per 6 week session is $35. 
Each session will accept 70 children.
Child must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
Dress child in messy clothes as clay or paints may stain clothes.

In case of rain, you will receive an email letting you know whether class is cancelled or rescheduled .

For more information contact 201-420-2000 Ex. 5100.

Special thanks to Hoboken Family Alliance for their continued support

For full details, view this message on the web.


Seven Works of Art Unveiled on Streets in Downtown Bayonne

Seven Works of Art Unveiled

Unveiling of Works of Art in Downtown Bayonne:  City officials joined artists and others for the unveiling of seven works of art that were painted on utility boxes and former fire alarm boxes from 5th Street to 9th Street.  Pictured here is one of the paintings, Aquarium, by Gary Wynans.   It is located on Cottage Street, slightly east of Broadway.  Pictured left to right: Council Member At-Large Juan Perez, Second Ward Council Member Sal Gullace, Mayor Jimmy Davis, City Council President Sharon Ashe  Nadrowski, Mr. Wynans, and First Ward Council Member Tom Cotter. 

               Recently, local artists and City officials unveiled a series of seven works of art that are located on utility boxes and former fire alarm boxes between 5th Street and 9th Street.  The art program is administered by Bayonne’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ).  Continue reading Seven Works of Art Unveiled on Streets in Downtown Bayonne

27th Annual Jersey City Art & Studio Tour

Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the Jersey City Municipal Council and 
the Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs Present the 
27th Annual Jersey City Art & Studio Tour


27TH Annual JCAST

On October 14th and 15th, more than 200 art events will take place across the city, featuring the artwork of more than 500 artists; The weekend includes curated tours where visitors can explore artists’ studios, discover new galleries, enjoy performing arts or one of the city’s 100 outdoor murals 


JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulopthe Jersey City Municipal Council and the Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs are pleased to present the 27th Annual Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (JCAST) on October 14th and 15th, 2017, where more than 160 artist studios, galleries, museums, art markets and other art-activated spaces across Jersey City will be inviting the public in to enjoy and purchase art in all forms of media. The second largest city in New Jersey and most diverse city in the nation, Jersey City is a widely considered the arts destination of the state.

Continue reading 27th Annual Jersey City Art & Studio Tour


Bayonne Urban Enterprise Zone CALL FOR ARTIST program an amazing opportunity for area artist to participate  with an Art Installation Program in Bayonne’s Historic Bergen Point District.

Please see ad below for more information. Deadline us June 23rd, 2017

Call to Artist