Monday, October 30, 2017

JCTC ARTSpeaks Invites Audiences to Ask Three Jersey City Artists Pop Questions


WHEN: Wednesday, November 1, 7:30pm -10:00pm
Jersey City Theater Center, Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City
ADMISSION: $5.00 suggested donation
(201) 795-5386
For more information visit: 

Three of the best-known artists in Jersey City reunite for ARTSpeaks, a quirky yet revelatory evening of discussion and dialogue presented by Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) at Merelses Studios.

The three artists—Kayt Hester, Robert Piersanti and Joe Waks—featured in the new JCTC ARTSpeaks have exhibited in galleries, group and solo shows throughout the New Jersey/New York area and beyond. While each Powerpop artist work in different mediums, they were first gathered together as a threesome in one of the most popular and well-attended downtown Jersey City art shows of the summer, "Powerpop Trio" at LITM, a leading gallery, bar and restaurant.

That acclaimed exhibition featured solely new work by the three artists, revealing a fresh take on contemporary American culture that delved beneath the surface of seemingly familiar images to discover some new social, political and cultural truths about how we live now.

According to the LITM Facebook post about the show:

  • Hester searches for beauty in the everyday mundane with her bold, stark pieces created with torn bits of masking tape.
  • Piersanti draws upon a lifetime fascination with 50's and 60's pop culture featuring Jersey City locals as subjects. His paintings have evolved into a visual diary of the people and events in his life.
  • Waks tempers reality (“America’s faded grandeur and current status as a junkie desperately fixing for cheap Chinese-made smart phones”) with a heapin’ helpin’ of humor, a super-sized serving of irony and a couple of squirts of hope. His art is a commentary on our absurd, interconnected world.

The success of the summer’s Powerpop Trio show and how it revealed natural connections in terms of theme and world-view between seemingly very diverse, Jersey City artists made reuniting them for a follow-up autumnal JCTC ARTSpeaks a natural.

“Anyone who has looked into the art scene in Jersey City or surrounding areas will have come across the work of these three artists,” said Lucy Rovetto, Visual Arts Coordinator, JCTC and ARTSpeaks curator. “Even if you don't frequent art shows but have grabbed a slice at Two Boots Pizza in Jersey City, you’ve seen Piersanti's history of Jersey City mural. You may have walked past Wak's vintage-with-a-twist advertising images as street art plastering construction site barriers or as hand-painted murals on buildings and underpasses. If you were around during the 2016 Election you may have seen Hester's Bernie Sanders piece displayed in a prominent window on Newark Avenue.”

She added, “their creations are familiar backdrops in Hudson County. But who are the people behind those familiar images? What makes them tick? Why do they do what they do? Have they ever been in love or arrested. Come to ARTSpeaks at Merseles Studios with your questions and maybe together we’ll get some answers.”

ARTSpeak profiles visual artists in a refreshingly fun and original format. Held in the intimate Black Box Theater at Merseles studios, ARTSpeak features an interview with individual artists, accompanied by projections of their work. The profile segments are followed by an audience Q&A—but with a unique twist: Audience members are encouraged to ask “Quirky Questions” using index cards, where they can write down any question—no matter how off-the-wall or inappropriate—they’ve always wanted to ask an artist. The index cards are read by an ARTSpeak moderator, ensuring the anonymity of the person asking the question.

Works by all three of the Powerpop Trio will be displayed at Merseles Studios for ARTSpeaks and will also be for sale at the event—at a range of affordable price points. A work by each participating artist will also be raffled at ARTSpeaks, giving three audience members a chance to go home with an original piece of art (and/or hand-made object) donated by the artist exclusively for ARTSpeaks .

To find out more about the Powerpop Trio, visit the websites of Kayt Hester, Robert Piersanti and Joe Waks.

IMAGE: Powerpop Trio: Robert Piersanti, Joe Waks, and Kayt Hester at the show opening at the LITM gallery in August. (photograph by Andrea Morin).