Back in Jersey City: JCAST 2017

On Sunday, October 15, 2017, I was honored to participate in 111 1st Street: A Community of Artists, an exhibit featuring the artists of the former 111 1st Street–the subject of Left Bank of the Hudson.

Elaine Hansen, a 111 alumnus herself, organized the show as part of the 2017 Jersey City Art & Studio Tour, gathering together the work of forty artists. This exhibit brought together all the moving pieces of the rich 111 1st Street story: visitors could meet the artists, admire their work, and discover the history and impact of their building and community.

In the afternoon, I read from Left Bank of the Hudson. Ann-Christine Racette, Production Manager, Fordham University Press, discussed her aesthetic process and choices in transforming my manuscript into an artifact. Later, we sat down and fielded questions from the audience.

JCAST Post 4
Just a tiny sample of the art. (Photograph by author)

Hundreds of artists worked within 111 1st Street during its lifetime. Only imagination limited the possibilities for the building and for Jersey City.

Charles Chamot Gallery
Poster from JCAST 2003. (Courtesy of Elaine Hansen)

Ann-Christine entranced the crowd of fellow-minded creatives with her talk on book design and production.

JCAST Post 2
Between sixty to seventy people listened to our talk. People sat in the loft. (Courtesy of Kirk Howle)

This Jersey City crowd didn’t hold back with its questions. The role and value of art and artists in American society and culture were favored topics.

JCAST 2
A great crowd and an exciting afternoon. (Courtesy of Kirk Howle)

An impressive amount of people turned out for our afternoon segment and for the entire exhibit. Will these people ensure that another 111 1st Street is not lost in Jersey City (or elsewhere)? I’m hopeful.

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