A day of art and culture in my hood – JC Fridays Spring 2012

So I headed out for JC Fridays with two of my friends, Liliane and PJ, who both also happen to be the Assistant Director and Stage Manager, respectively, for my upcoming play “Secrets; Love.

I didn’t get to see many of the art exhibits I had written advances for in The Jersey Journal like Jennifer Krause-Chapeau, Beatrice Mady and Steam Cafe, but I did get to see Mark Elliott’s show and many other excellent exhibits like The Rock Show at Shampoo JC. Here are some highlights from my JC Fridays.

5:30 p.m. – Creative Grove Artist and Designer Market

Here we got to be part of an interactive art piece where we could use a hammer to build – or destroy – a wood piece. Uta Brauser helped guide us and let us do whatever we wanted.

Later, Uta showed us some of her awesome animal hats, since Lili and PJ are animal hat connoisseurs.

We also visited Rising Tide Capital and bought a t-shirt from Black Tea and a pair of earrings from a local jewelry designer.

6 p.m. – Mark Elliott solo exhibit “Color Bomb” at Made With Love

We went to get some molasses spice cookies and cranberry biscotti from Made With Love Artisan Bakery and Cafe and also saw “Color Bomb,” an exhibit which I had the honor of writing an advance for in The Jersey Journal. His colors really do pop and I love his work. Check some of his stuff out:

We also ran into my former co-worker Journal copy editor John Crittenden, who is also a photographer. He shot a nice photo of me, Lili and PJ, which I shall add here when I can. For now, you can all assume we looked ravishing.

UPDATE: Here we are!

6:45 p.m. – “The Rock Show” at Shampoo JC and re-opening of JC Studios

I unfortunately forgot to take pictures at both places, but I had actually seen “The Rock Show” earlier (you know, I don’t even think it was officially part of JC Fridays) and really wanted Lili and PJ to see it because I loved it so much. It had great work from people like Katherine Ramos, Kayt Hester, Dylan Egon, Bojana Coklyat, Virginia Kamenitzer, Laura Desantis Olsson and Robert Piersanti – all artists whose work I enjoy and respect. We also got to check out the awesome studios at JC Studios, which can be used for rehearsal and recording and go for really great rates! (Generally under $30/hour!)

7:30 p.m. – “Progression” group exhibit at Art House Productions; spoken word performance

We saw some really awesome art inspired by or related to the theme, “Progression,” which is perfect for the spring. There was an interactive drawing piece and we got to doodle all over it! For example, Lili made a squid named Squide and I made an octopus named Okto. They were best friends and spoke to each other on bananaphones! PJ made an Angry Bird and otherOM NOM stuff. Check out our handywork:

We also got to see Grammy- and Tony-nominated writer and spoken word artist Reg E. Gaines (who will also be the Artistic Director for the Downtown Urban Theater Festival where “Secrets;Love” will be performed!) and Mr. Joz perform some amazing stuff.


And of course, there was some awesome art. Here were some of my favorite pieces:

9 p.m. – “John Fathom/Grace Marquinhos” show at Port-O Lounge

Unfortunately, I was only able to pop in here for a little bit and the light wasn’t really great for picture-taking. But this might give you an idea of some of the awesome stuff in here.

10 p.m. – JC Slam at Grassroots Community Space

We ran into Reg E. Gaines and Mr. Joz again and got to see them do some awesome poetry/spoken word in the open mic that started the event. I also performed, reading my short story/monologue “Something Inside That Head of Yours.”

We saw five awesome women poets showcase their talents and then Lili and PJ helped judge the actual slam, which also featured some amazing writers and performers. I love the energy JC Slam has and wish I remembered more things in detail to write about it, but it’s all such a wonderful poetic blur now that I look back – or maybe that’s because I’m writing this at almost 3 a.m. after waking up at 7 a.m. the previous day.

2 a.m. – Finally home!

I am exhausted but excited and inspired. Also, I know there are so many other shows that have not yet closed that are just waiting for my eyes and others’ eyes, too. For example, by this time I had already seen Darin DeField’s “Afrocentricity” at LITM and got a sneak-peek at “Photographs” at Bistro La Source with works from Lani Buess and Alexis Rotter, thanks to a Journal article by my former colleague Terrence T. McDonald. There are so many things I wish I had gotten the chance to seen (not having the ability to teleport or stop/travel through time is tough) and so many things I still have to find.

My day was made, however, when Liliane told me she hadn’t realized just how many wonderful things are just waiting for us in our community – how much art and culture there was in the neighborhood! She and PJ had fun and so did I. Another successful JC Fridays – woohoo! (Can’t wait for the next one – in my birth month, June, on PJ’s birthday, the first!)

About Summer Dawn Hortillosa

Summer Dawn Hortillosa is a journalist specializing in arts and entertainment. Among other things, she is also an award-winning playwright, director, singer-songwriter and actress. Her work has been seen in The Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal and other publications.
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One Response to A day of art and culture in my hood – JC Fridays Spring 2012

  1. Pingback: Coverage in The Asian Journal | Secrets; Love

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