Artists create Art, give Workshops, and â€˜getâ€™ Hudson
By Sally Deering
A community can be judged by the people who live and work there; and in the past two years, Guttenberg â€“ a mile or so north of Hoboken â€“ just got a lot more hip with the Guttenberg Arts Center on Jackson Street. A former dental factory, the open single-story space now houses paints, easels, clay, printing presses and other tools of the artistâ€™s trade. It also serves as a place for emerging artists to create and present their work in exhibitions, artist talks, and free workshops that share their artistic vision with the Hudson community.
Guttenberg Arts Centerâ€™s ceramics directorÂ Phoebe Deutsch with founder and ceramics artist Sara Barteluce
Guttenberg Arts Centerâ€™s Winter 2016 Artists-in-Residence are Joiri Minaya, Chris Bors, and Sarah Nicholls. Each artist works in a different medium and as artists-in-residence, each will offer workshops and talks with the community during certain exhibit hours. Director Matt Barteluce, who holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, says he and Guttenberg Arts Co-founders Don Barteluce, Sara Barteluce, Russ Spitkovsky, and Phoebe Deutsch opened the center in May 2014 to meet the needs of emerging artists looking for a space to create; and in the almost two years since it opened, Guttenberg Arts has brought a new energy and excitement to its urban blue collar neighborhood.
â€œOur community of artists originally came from Carrier Pigeon, a quarterly magazine we produced four times a year,â€ Barteluce says. â€œIt was a venue for artists, writers, and illustrators to showcase their work without restrictions. The Guttenberg Arts Center and artistsâ€™ residency was a way for us to give artists space and time to produce the work in the magazine. The Center used to be a dental factory. We bought it and then thought why not go for a non-profit status so we can do good for the community and artists. So thatâ€™s the origin of it. Weâ€™re still very new and weâ€™re still trying to get our name out there and let people know what weâ€™re trying to accomplish.â€
Guttenberg Arts Centerâ€™s director Matt Barteluce, co-founder Don Barteluce,Â artist-in-residence Sarah Nichols, ceramics director Phoebe DeutscheÂ and co-founder Russ Spitkovsky
The mission of the Guttenberg Arts Center is to give artists a space and time to create new work, and to engage the public. In June 2015, Guttenberg Arts Center staff worked with the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs to sponsor an art festival in James J. Braddock Park (Hudson County Park) in North Bergen.
â€œPrograms like that make us feel like weâ€™re doing something necessary for northern Hudson County,â€ Barteluce says. â€œThereâ€™s lots of stuff happening in Jersey City and Hoboken. When people think of Hudson County they think of those two cities, but there are a myriad of other towns that are celebrating the artists that live and work there. We like to call ourselves the cultural anchor of northern Hudson County.â€
Guttenberg Arts at 6903 Jackson Street Guttenberg NJ
BODYCASTING, PRINTMAKING: FREE WORKSHOPS
The Guttenberg Arts Centerâ€™s workshops are conducted by the artists-in-residence and so far, there have been a dozen free workshops offered to the community like Mono-print Madness, a class on printmaking taught to children at the Union City Music Project run by artist Johanna Winters.
Winter 2015 Resident Artist Johanna WintersÂ Â teaches the art of mono-printing to studentsÂ at the Union City Music Project.
â€œJohanna liked working with kids and getting them interested in printmaking methods, so we worked with another local non-profit, the Union City Music Project and their students,â€ Barteluce says. â€œWe came to the Park Theater in Union City where they teach classes and brought one of our mini-presses. The kids got to paint something on a piece of Plexiglas and we ran it through the press.â€
Hands from Roberto Visani’s Body Cast Workshop
Local artist Roberto Visani conducted a Body Cast Workshop for adults this past fall. The process involved filling quart buckets with a fast-setting plaster, and then making a quick mold.
â€œWorkshop participants would put their hands in the quart bucket, it dries in a few minutes and then you pour plaster and you can get a plaster mold of your hand,â€ Barteluce says.
Summer 2015 Resident Artist Pavel Acosta (standing)Â teaches a collage workshop to adults
â€œEach year, our resident artists teach nine workshops and theyâ€™re free to the public,â€ Barteluce says. â€œWhoever signs up, gets in. Each one is different. Weâ€™ll be teaching a letterpress class in March and two other artists are currently figuring out what they want to do.â€
Â WINTER 2016 ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE
This winter, three artists are in residence at the Guttenberg Arts Center: Chris Bors, who paints Â and silkscreens; Joria Minaya who makes videos, large scale silkscreens and plaster casting; and Sarah Nicholls who creates books and pamphlets.
Artists-in-residence are asked to work an average of 40 hours a week, like a normal work week, Barteluce says. Itâ€™s a three-month residency in the fall, winter and summer, and submissions are now being accepted for the May 1-to-July 31 summer residency. Open call for the summer residency begins Fri, Jan. 15 and runs through Sun, Feb. 14. Interested artists should submit 10 images, an artist statement, a letter of intent, and CV. (See the website for details.)
â€œWe select a panel of jurors, curators, museum directors, and artists, and we give them a month or so to view the submissions online and vote,â€ Barteluce says. â€œOnce we reduce the submissions to the top 70, we have a slide show. From 70, we go down to 12. They are all so talented, at that point itâ€™s a matter of finding a good group that could work together well, and the mediums donâ€™t â€˜interfereâ€™ with each other. On average, we get 200 submissions.â€
Artists receive a $3,000 stipend for the 3-month residency.
â€œThree-thousand is not a lot of money, but we feel itâ€™s enough for them to commute to the space, get some artist materials and have a warm meal in their stomachs,â€ Barteluce says. â€œWeâ€™re hoping to raise a larger amount of money or increase the number from three to six artists. We can have the space filled with a dozen artists.â€
Sarah Nicholls, an artist who makes books and resides in Brooklyn, is one of the three current artists-in-residence at Guttenberg Arts. Nicholls recently held an artist talk at the center where she discussed her work creating mono-prints, pamphlets and books like the one she wrote and illustrated on extinct birds. During her residency at Guttenberg Arts, Nicholls says she plans to work on a new book. Familiar with artist residencies â€“ she did one last year at Governorâ€™s Island in New York â€“ Nicholls says Guttenberg Artsâ€™ residency program is very generous to artists.
Â Art Prints by Sarah Nicholls are now on exhibit at Guttenberg Arts Center
â€œIt offers great facilities, exhibitions, feedback and community,â€ Nicholls says. â€œIt offers opportunities to present your work in public and time and support to start something new to focus on. Because we have a key we can make our own schedules. Itâ€™s an interesting place and well-equipped. Thereâ€™s a lot of space and a lot of equipment. Itâ€™s great.â€
If you go
Guttenberg Arts Center
6903 Jackson St, Guttenberg
Hours: noon to 5 pm, Tuesday through Sunday
By appointment to see the exhibitions
To submit work: https://guttenbergarts.submittable.com/submit